Please read footnotes, titles and explanations with each chart for source(s) and explanation of data.  It is important to note that some of the data presented below can not be taken as absolutely definitive since a minimum of 15 cases are required to calculate a stable age-adjusted rate. Considering the small populations in our rural counties, in several instances, the age-adjusted rates displayed below were calculated with fewer than 15 cases.  Also, where the information is left blank, counts/rates were suppressed, likely due to having fewer than 5 reported cases within the specified category.


Some of the tables below have filters.  In such, use these filters to select the “category” for which you are interested.  Then, click the county/counties within the legend of the associated chart (just below the appropriate tables) to view the county/counties for which you are interested.  The charts are defaulted to display “District”, “Kentucky” and “United States” trends.

Overweight and obesity describe ranges of weight greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. Body mass index (BMI) is the most useful measure of weight relative to height. According to the CDC, Kentucky has the fifth-highest rate of obesity in the nation. During the past 12 years, there has been an increase in obesity in the Lake Cumberland District area and rates remain high. Overweight and obesity, caused by poor diet and inactivity, are significantly associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, joint problems and poor health status.

Obesity Percentage

Select and De-select counties by clicking the legend options.



  • The data in the chart and table above is 4-years behind the date reported. For example, the data for the year 2021 is from statistics from 2017.


Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Individuals are considered overweight when their BMI is between 25 and 30. (BMI is calculated using height and weight, [weight in pounds x 703] divided by [height in inches x height in inches]). Obesity is associated with poor health outcomes because it predisposes one to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Analysis (July 2021)

Obesity rates have gradually increased over the last decade throughout the US including Kentucky. over the period 2015 to 2021, all of our counties have increased the percentage of obese individuals except Casey and Cumberland. Our district’s rates are comparable to Kentucky’s, which are higher than the nation’s.


Rising obesity rates have paralleled our intake of sugar. The average person now consumes 150 lbs of sugar per year, up from 70 lbs in the 1970s and up from 5 lbs in the 1800s. There has also been a decline in home cooking. Also, portion sizes have almost doubled over the last few decades. If families would return to family meals with less frequent fast food runs, a big step of progress towards obesity prevention could be achieved.

There are several causes of weight gain including intake of excess calories due to larger than needed portion sizes and eating unhealthy foods high in refined carbohydrates (flour and sugar); and, not getting enough physical activity.

The LCDHD provides nutritional services and diabetes classes.