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Result 1: Improved health status for New Mexicans

P002: Percent of adults who are considered obese

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

  • Adult obesity is tracked and reported through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) as the percent of respondents whose self-reported height and weight corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30.0.
  • Among New Mexico’s adults, 64.8% are overweight or obese. Similarly, over one-in-four adults ages 45 years and older has been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases. Adults with lower socioeconomic status are at greater risk for having unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, becoming overweight or obese, and developing chronic disease.
  • While obesity among adults in New Mexico (NM) and the United States has been on a steady rise over the past few decades, prevalence may be leveling off in New Mexico. In 2014, 28.4% of NM adults were obese, compared to 28.8% in 2015 and 28.3% in 2016.
  • Diverse multi-sector coalitions comprised of key community leaders help Healthy Kids Healthy Communities (HKHC) achieve meaningful progress in the local food system and built environment. 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health's (NMDOH) Obesity, Nutrition, and Physical Activity (ONAPA) Program continues to create environments that make it easier for people to eat a healthy diet and be physically active through tasting and cooking demonstrations among low-income adults, specifically Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) recipients.


  • Local HKHC coalitions in 14 counties and 5 tribes 
  • Human Services Department 
  • Public Education Department 
  • Children, Youth & Families Department 
  • WIC
  • NM State University (NMSU)
  • University of NM 
  • schools 
  • local and tribal governments 
  • parks and recreation 
  • Cooking with Kids 
  • Farm to Table

What Works

  • Increasing opportunities for, exposure to, and consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy as well as increased physical activity and limited tv, omputer, video game, or other screen time.
  • Implementing healthy eating and physical activity strategies in a multi-sector approach:
    • Policymakers, state and local organizations, business and community leaders, school, childcare and healthcare professionals, and individuals must work together to create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle.
    • Policy, systems, and environmental changes coupled with direct nutrition education.


  • Implement tasting and cooking demonstrations to increase exposure and access to healthy foods among the 40,000 low-income families and 16,000 low-income senior adults that receive services from food assistance sites across the state, including WIC.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

  • In FY17, ONAPA partnered with both state and local organizations to align policy, systems, and environmental obesity prevention efforts with direct nutrition education to support healthy eating and physical activity among the low-income adult population. 
    • ONAPA primarily partnered with NMSU Cooperative Extension Service to implement tasting, cooking, and/or gardening lessons in food assistance program and/or distribution sites, farmers’ markets, WIC clinics, and senior centers in rural, frontier, tribal, and low-income areas. 
  • ONAPA enhanced nutrition education efforts by leveraging CDC funding to create policy, systems, and environmental changes in communities including: 1) increasing access to a healthy and affordable food supply in rural, frontier, tribal, and low-income areas through the implementation of healthy food stores or mobile grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and/or community gardens; 2) creating safe and active outdoor open space (parks and playgrounds) for community use; 3) increasing the number of safe walking and biking routes that connect neighborhoods to schools and other community points of interest; and 4) supporting Complete Streets initiatives that increase access to community areas for walking and biking. 

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