State of Obesity 2021: Better Policies for a Healthier America


November 10, 2021 • Briefing

On November 10, 2021, TFAH held a virtual congressional briefing and national webinar to explore findings from the State of Obesity 2021: Better Policies for a Healthier America report. The report examined how the social and economic factors linked to obesity were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 18th annual report found that 16 states had adult obesity rates at 35 percent or higher, up from 12 states the year before.

Panelists covered the latest data on obesity and its impacts, highlight promising approaches to ensure healthier communities, and offer policy recommendations that can help all Americans lead healthier lives.

Briefing Resources:


  • Chef José Andrés
    Chef José Andrés is a chef, humanitarian, and bestselling author. His ThinkFoodGroup comprises 30 acclaimed restaurants and the pioneering creative venture José Andrés Media, while his nonprofit World Central Kitchen uses food as a powerful agent of positive change around the globe.
  • Ruth Petersen, MD, MPH
    Dr. Ruth Petersen serves as the Director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). The Division provides national leadership on nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention through policy and guideline development, surveillance, epidemiological and behavioral research, and technical assistance to states and communities.
  • Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH
    Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Dean, and Jean Mayer Professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine.
  • Karol Fink, MS, RDN
    Karol Fink is the chief for the State of Alaska section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She has a master of nutritional science and is a registered dietitian nutritionist.


  • J. Nadine Gracia,MD, MSCE
    Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public health policy, research and advocacy organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community.