Skip to main content

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Epidemiology

Obesity is defined based upon an individual's Body-Mass-Index (BMI). A BMI of 30.0 or higher is considered to be obese, while a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight.

Obesity is a result of an energy imbalance that involves consumption of too many calories and a lack of adequate physical activity.

Obesity has been shown to be associated with various consequences, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, coronary heart disease, and gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility). Healthy nutrition and regular physical activity have a great impact in preventing overweight and obesity.

Epidemiology Summary

Michigan has the 10th highest prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States. In 2009, three out of every 10 Michigan adults were obese and approximately 36 percent of adults in the state were overweight.

What We Do

The aim of the Michigan Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program (NPAO) is to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases through healthful eating and physical activity.

The diabetes and obesity epidemiologist supports the NPAO program by monitoring trends in weight status, nutrition quality and access, and physical activity levels among youth and adults in Michigan. In addition, breastfeeding practices of new mothers are followed over time.

Surveillance is also conducted to track disparities in health and behavior by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, gender, age, disability status, and other factors.



Fact Sheets


Other sites related to nutrition, physical activity and obesity epidemiology:

NPAO Epidemiology Staff

For more information, or to get accessibility assistance reading any of these documents, please contact Diabetes and Obesity Epidemiologist Michelle Byrd, PhD, MPH (email:


Return to the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Section Webpage

Note: You will need a PDF reader to properly view the PDF documents on this page. You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe's website.