KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Weight loss is big business with nearly $173 billion in yearly medical costs linked to obesity. With climbing obesity rates, helping people lose weight could bring that bill down, and prevent premature deaths from obesity-related health issues. So, how do Kansas and Missouri measure up on the scale of obesity?

We went to the CDC for the answers, which shows more than 40% of people nationwide are classified as having obesity, a number that increased from 30% in 2000. Currently, Missouri weighed in with 37.3%, and Kansas had slightly less at 36%.

Data Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

With higher obesity rates, comes the danger of related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and Type 2 diabetes, all of which are the leading causes of preventable deaths. But could the new drug Ozempic be the answer?

Ozempic and the obesity epidemic. Watch FOX4 News Monday at 10 p.m. on the injectable “miracle” drug.

Catch the FOX4’s Loren Halifax and her comprehensive report on Ozempic Monday, May 15 on FOX4 News at 10 p.m.