Iowa currently ranks 11th in the nation for adult obesity, down from seventh place, according to the latest Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. However, Iowa is one of 19 states with an obesity prevalence rate of at or over 35%. Being overweight or obese means that a person has too much body fat that may affect their health. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and several types of cancers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) obese children are more likely to become obese adults. They are also more likely to have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, depression and suffer from bullying. Obesity also costs the nation an estimated $147 billion in 2008.