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Study: 37% Of Floridians Are Obese, Rate Higher Than Originally Thought

Jun 19, 2018

According to a new study from the University of Florida Health, Florida Hospital in Orlando and the Tampa-based nonprofit Obesity Action Coalition, Florida’s obesity rate may be higher than originally thought. It shows 37.1 percent of Floridians ages 20 to 79 have a body mass index higher than 30.

That’s ten points higher than what the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reported from self-reported information collected by a telephone survey in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control.

“The data make all the difference. People responding to surveys tend to over-report their height and underreport their weight,” said Matthew Gurka, Ph.D., a UF College of Medicine health outcomes and biomedical informatics professor and the study’s senior author, in a news release. 

The researchers calculated the new obesity rates in Florida by analyzing data from the OneFlorida Data Trust, a database of 12 million medical claims statewide, and comparing it to the self reporting.

UF researchers claim this is the first time that comparison has been made.