Data Visualization Obesity visualization

Published on September 30th, 2015 | by Henry Sherwin

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Mapping Neighborhood-Level Obesity in the United States

RTI International, a research institute dedicated to making data immediately useful, has created a map of obesity in the United States that shows variations in obesity by neighborhood. Since obesity varies by location, identifying more at-risk populations not only allows organizations and public health officials to better target resources to address obesity, but also gives community stakeholders a better understanding of their neighborhood’s demographics. Users can view the data in three ways: obesity by overall body mass index, obesity versus the national average, or statistically significant clusters that show pockets of dense obesity or the lack of obesity. RTI used publicly available data from a number of sources, including the 2010 Census, the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The data for the Neighborhood Map of U.S. Obesity is also available for download.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Henry Sherwin is a graduate policy fellow at the Center for Data Innovation. He is finishing a Masters in Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Henry has previously worked on program evaluation and expanding capacity for state and local housing and urban development organizations in both government and non-profit capacities.



  • William556

    The BMI is not a completely reliable measure. If you are fit and muscular, the BMI will say you are overweight or even borderline obese. Most doctors are so dense these days that even looking at you in that shape will just whine that the tables say you need to lose weight, which is especially funny if your doctor have about the same BMI as you but they are fat.

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