Colorado's Diabetes Rate Second Lowest in U.S. but Getting Worse

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Colorado's performance seems less impressive when it's put into context. Below, see the state's latest statistics for diabetes and obesity as compared with data from just shy of a decade ago:


2008-2009 rate: 7.0
2016-2017: 8.6
Percent Point Change: 1.6


2008-2009 rate: 18.8
2016-2017 rate: 20.2
Percent Point Change: 1.4
This slippage isn't an outlier. Indeed, researchers found that no U.S. states experienced both lower diabetes and obesity rates over the analysis period. And Colorado is certainly in better shape than the states with the worst numbers.

The diabetes rate in West Virginia came in at 17.9 percent, more than double Colorado's. Moreover, seven other states in the southern region — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee — topped 14 percent.

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On the city side, Boulder and Fort Collins finished second and third, respectively, for the lowest diabetes rates of any community in the country. Here's the top ten:
1. Provo-Orem, UT 5.7 percent
2. Boulder, CO 6.1 percent
3. Fort Collins, CO 6.1 percent
4. Reno, NV 7.0 percent
5. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA 7.2 percent
6. Burlington-South Burlington, VT 7.6 percent
7. Anchorage, AK 7.9 percent
8. Boise City-Nampa, ID 7.9 percent
9. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 8.2 percent
10. Madison, WI 8.3 percent
Three other metro areas finished among the fifty cities with the lowest diabetes rates in the study. They are:
11. Colorado Springs, CO
Diabetes rate: 8.3
Obesity rate: 23.8

32. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
Diabetes rate: 9.3
Obesity rate: 21.1

42. Greeley, CO
Diabetes rate: 9.5
Obesity rate: 26.5
Clearly, Colorado remains one of the healthiest and most fit states in the nation — even if the news isn't quite as good as it once was.

Click to read "State of American Well-Being: 2017 State and Community Rankings for the Prevalence of Diabetes."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts