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States with the highest rate of obesity

  • States with the highest rates of obesity
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    States with the highest rates of obesity

    Obesity affects 39.8% of adults and 18.5% of the adolescents in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broke down the problem, showing obesity's tightest hold was on low-income and uneducated minorities, revealing a correlation between one's body mass index (BMI) and his socioeconomic status.

    The State of Obesity, a collaborative project of the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights the connection between socioeconomic status, education, and obesity. Some 33% of adults who did not finish high school were obese, compared with only 21.5% who were college or technical school graduates. Additionally, 33% of adults earning less than $15,000 annually were obese, compared with 24.6% of adults earning at least $50,000 yearly.

    Stacker referenced 2006–2016 data from the CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network to calculate the state percentages for overweight and obese residents (overweight is considered with a BMI between 25 and 29.9, while obese is 30 or higher). The data analysis method changed from before 2010 to 2011 and onwards. The CDC changed the method that it used to analyze the data and reduce the effects of certain variables such as educational status, marital status, and homeownership status, increasing the accuracy of estimates. Every state and Washington D.C. has a higher obesity percentage than they did 10 years ago, the CDC found.

    Breaking down the BMI by state, the CDC reports that 35% or more adults were considered obese in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The South and Midwest had the highest obesity rates, followed by the Northeast and the West.

    Read on to see if your state is among the most obese in the nation.
     

    You may also like: Most and least healthy states in America

  • #51. Colorado
    2/ Andrew Zarivny // Shutterstock

    #51. Colorado

    - 2016 obesity rate: 22.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 35.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 17.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22.2%

    More than a decade ago, Colorado had an 18.7% obesity rate and maintained the lowest percentage of overweight adults since 1990. Colorado has capitalized on its health consciousness as a state, including being featured in a 2008 WebMD report titled “7 Slimming Tips from the Skinniest State” that featured recommendations for fellow states.

  • #50. District of Columbia
    3/ Nicolas Raymond // Flickr

    #50. District of Columbia

    - 2016 obesity rate: 22.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 30.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 19.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 34.2%

    Often claiming the top spot in the American Fitness Index for the healthiest city, Washington D.C. has had nearly a decade to keep its obesity rate low since the 2010 launch of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” public health campaign and the Healthy Schools Act in D.C. public and charter schools.

  • #49. Massachusetts
    4/ Tono Balaguer // Shutterstock

    #49. Massachusetts

    - 2016 obesity rate: 23.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 34.%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 18.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 31.9%

    Required physical education and mandating healthier school foods keep the Bay State slimmer than its adjacent New England neighbors. “We know that overweight children become overweight adults, so these types of policies ensure that your future generations grow up to be healthy and productive adults,” Victoria Brown, senior program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told Massachusetts station WGBH.

  • #48. Hawaii
    5/ SvetlanaSF // Shutterstock

    #48. Hawaii

    - 2016 obesity rate: 23.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 41.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 29.4%

    Hawaii remained the #1 state for the seventh time in a row in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index, which in part explains its low obesity rate. In the poll, Hawaii topped all states in career, social, and financial wellbeing elements, showing a correlation between low obesity rates and both education and wealth.

  • #47. California
    6/ EddieHernandezPhotography // Shutterstock

    #47. California

    - 2016 obesity rate: 25%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 35.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 18.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 18.8%

    California's wealthiest counties are its healthiest, according to the Sacramento Bee's comparative analysis of Marin and Lake Counties. Marin's highest median income of $63,110 next to Lake's lowest median income of $29,995 further points to the socioeconomic trends in obesity rates. With better access to fresh healthy foods and medical insurance, California continues to maintain one of the lowest obesity percentages.

  • #46. Utah
    7/ Garrett // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. Utah

    - 2016 obesity rate: 25.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 20%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 29.5%

    Utah holds one of the lowest obesity rates for adolescents. While 14.8% of U.S. public high school students were obese in 2017, only 9.6% of Utah public high school students were considered overweight. Utah families heavily participate in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program—a nationwide cooperative extension offering free family training in food resource management—and other state and local funded programs that promote healthy living.

  • #45. Montana
    8/ Pruhter // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Montana

    - 2016 obesity rate: 25.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 19.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 21.8%

    Montana baby boomers aged 45–64 account for most of the state's obesity rate by age at 30.6%. The percentage drops with age as adults 26–44 account for 25.6%, and adults 18–25 account for 14.2%. The state has the ninth lowest obesity rate in the U.S. for adolescents ages, which could be attributed to the state requiring licensed early childhood education programs to have healthy eating guidelines and daily physical activity.

  • #44. New York
    9/ Andrés Nieto Porras // Flickr

    #44. New York

    - 2016 obesity rate: 25.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 22.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 27.2%

    The Journal News daily newspaper broke down New York's regions, pointing out that Finger Lakes and Southern Tier communities saw “challenges linked to wealth and prosperity, as well as some above-average rates for smoking, obesity and other health risks.” While the less financially fortunate New York communities are more prone to obesity, Rockland, the highest earning area throughout 62 counties statewide, was rated the healthiest.

  • #43. Nevada
    10/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #43. Nevada

    - 2016 obesity rate: 25.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 36.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 19.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22.5%

    The Nevada legislature passed SB165 in order to prevent and treat obesity among adolescents. The law mandates several statewide school districts collect the height and weight of students in order to track and treat obesity. The state lowered its obesity rates by 1.5% in four years for adolescents enrolled in the federal nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC).

  • #42. Connecticut
    11/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #42. Connecticut

    - 2016 obesity rate: 26%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 35.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 19.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 31.9%

    Connecticut could be the first state to enforce taxes and limiting marketing of sugary drinks, including soda, in an effort to reduce obesity; similar laws already exist in several cities such as Philadelphia and Seattle. Connecticut has seen a consistent rise in its obesity rates from early as 1990, when 10.4% of the adult population was considered obese.

  • #41. New Hampshire
    12/ Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

    #41. New Hampshire

    - 2016 obesity rate: 26.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 33.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 17.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 25.3%

    Almost a decade ago, New Hampshire Public Radio started the series “Tipping the Scales,” to address obesity in the Granite State. The series, with reports that range from obese pregnancy and risk of autism to statistics from inactivity studies, found that almost two out of three New Hampshire adults were overweight or obese.

  • #40. Rhode Island
    13/ ESB Professional // Shutterstock

    #40. Rhode Island

    - 2016 obesity rate: 26.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 23.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 27.8%

    Featured in “The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” Rhode Island is one of six states where adult obesity rates rose significantly. The annual report stressed higher obesity rates in areas with racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities, while also noting the need for the state to implement federal, state, and local government policies that promote healthier living.

  • #39. Vermont
    14/ Bob P. B. // Flickr

    #39. Vermont

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.1%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 33.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 17.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 20.3%

    Vermont has been battling obesity for almost two decades, as seen in a 2002 Middlebury Campus report. That story, which noted President George W. Bush's running routine and pushed for a more active American lifestyle, discussed the state legislature's need to fight obesity and its rising rates. Almost two decades later, Vermont's adult obesity rate has risen almost 10% to 27.1%.

  • #38. New Jersey
    15/ Sorbis // Shutterstock

    #38. New Jersey

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 35.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 22.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 24.7%

    New Jersey obesity rates broken down by county from 2014–2016 show a direct correlation between socioeconomic status and obesity. “The more money you make, the lower your BMI," Judy Storch, professor of nutritional science at Rutgers University, told NJ.com. Out of the 21 Garden State counties, Hunterdon County ranks “excellent” with the lowest percentage of obese adults 20 and older at 18.3%, and Cumberland County ranks “reason for concern” with the highest fraction at 36.6%

  • #37. Florida
    16/ Tobias Scheck // Flickr

    #37. Florida

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.4%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 20%

    Like several other states, Florida's obesity rates are being chalked up to socioeconomic status evident in the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The report, which measures the current overall health of every county in the U.S. based on racial/ethnic groups, reveals how the high cost of housing in central Florida has low-income residents sacrificing fresh fare for fast food to pay the rent. In more affluent northern Florida, where the median income is higher, St. John's has been ranked for eight years as the healthiest county.

  • #36. Idaho
    17/ Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce // Flickr

    #36. Idaho

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.4%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 18.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 19.4%

    Idaho legislators literally walk the walk they talk when it comes to childhood obesity. Almost 60 elected officials helped earn $22,500 by completing up to 10,000 strides in the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Steps for Schools Walking in Boise. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports that the health care cost for obesity was $324 million a year.

  • #35. Wyoming
    18/ Michel Rathwell // Flickr

    #35. Wyoming

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 41.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.2%

    Wyoming's obesity rate has risen more than 10% in 10 years. In 2014, after a two-year decline, the Cowboy State was one of five states that saw a significant increase in the adult obesity rate. Wyoming Department of Health Chronic Disease Epidemiologist Joe Grandpre said since fast food is easy, inexpensive, and everywhere, more people are relying on it for their daily nutrition, which in turn is making them obese and less healthy.

  • #34. Minnesota
    19/ Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Minnesota

    - 2016 obesity rate: 27.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 22.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 24.1%

    Reporting on obesity in 2018, Time magazine pointed out that “nine of the 10 states with the lowest rates—all but number-four Minnesota—are in the West or Northeast.” Nestled in the upper Midwest, with the fourth lowest obesity rate for youth ages 10–17, Minnesotans manage to outperform their neighbors in North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. But in-state, obesity disparity is rising between Minnesota's richest and poorest, who live in rural areas with less healthy food available for residents on a restricted income.

  • #33. New Mexico
    20/ stellamc // Shutterstock

    #33. New Mexico

    - 2016 obesity rate: 28.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 43.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22.6%

    Despite landing in the bottom half of obesity rankings by state, New Mexico's obesity rate has been steadily climbing over the past two decades. In 1990, the state's obesity rate was at just 8.1%—and it jumped to 17.4% in 2000 before landing at 28.3% in 2016.

  • #32. Washington
    21/ Lonni Besançon // Flickr

    #32. Washington

    - 2016 obesity rate: 28.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 16.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 19%

    Washington State Department of Health obesity programs and childhood obesity prevention coalitions assist in ranking the state as with the 13th lowest adult obesity percentage and third lowest adolescent obesity rate in the U.S. The state's largest city, Seattle, touts being skinnier than the rest of the nation as it comes in second to last on WalletHub's 2019 Fattest Cities in America analysis.

  • #31. Oregon
    22/ Andrew Zarivny // Shutterstock

    #31. Oregon

    - 2016 obesity rate: 28.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 16.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 27%

    Oregonians are active based on their fourth-place ranking in WalletHub's Best and Worst Cities for an active lifestyle. Beaver State citizens are #1 out of all the biggest U.S. 100 cities studied for the least percentage of inactive adults. The Northwest adolescents are also keeping their BMI lower than several other states as they maintain the seventh lowest obesity rate for youth ages 10–17.

  • #30. Arizona
    23/ Melikamp // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. Arizona

    - 2016 obesity rate: 29%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 20.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.5%

    Almost 1 in 3 adults in Arizona are obese, according to John Auerbach, president of Trust For America's Health, which creates the annual State of Obesity report. He said few recreational facilities, dangerous neighborhood parks, and unavailable grocery stores were some of the barriers to keeping Arizonans' BMI low. The state's obesity rate was 10.6% in 1990, growing almost 18.4% in nearly three decades to the current 29%.

  • #29. Virginia
    24/ Jim // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Virginia

    - 2016 obesity rate: 29%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 40.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 25.1%

    The Virginia Department of Health reports that the Prince William County adult obesity fell by 7% from 2011 to 2012 and then rose to 27% in 2013 and 2014. The department's 2015 revised Childhood Obesity Trend Report surveyed students in seventh to 10th grade, recording their “responses seem[ed] inconsistent with the responses regarding perceptions about weight.” While more than half of the Virginia students believed their weight was normal, they still expressed wanting to lose or gain weight.

  • #28. South Dakota
    25/ Sopotnicki // Shutterstock

    #28. South Dakota

    - 2016 obesity rate: 29.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 42.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 26.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.7%

    Buffalo County in South Dakota has been branded as the nation's worst food environment based in part on its low-income tribal reservations. The 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps food environment index category, which calculates the county's low-income population who have no access to fresh and reliable food, is measured from 0–10. Buffalo County scored a 0, mostly because of the poverty of Crow Creek Indian reservation.

  • #27. Maine
    26/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #27. Maine

    - 2016 obesity rate: 29.9%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 35.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 18.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.3%

    In order to lower its obesity rates, the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Central Maine is pioneering a childhood obesity program for adolescents ages 7 to 13 who have a BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile. According to a survey performed every odd year, obese third graders percent rate dropped from 20.8% in 2015 to 12.3% in 2017.

  • #26. Maryland
    27/ Joe Wolf // Flickr

    #26. Maryland

    - 2016 obesity rate: 29.9%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 36%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 32.5%

    Maryland was #19 overall in the United Health Foundation's 29th annual report "America's Health Rankings,” regardless of it being #26 in the nation's obesity percentage. University of Maryland School of Public Health faculty began studying several factors that contribute to the states high percentage and found public transportation, family relationships, and school settings are a few areas intervention programs should be designed to bring down rising obesity rates.

  • #25. Pennsylvania
    28/ Mark Dozier // Shutterstock

    #25. Pennsylvania

    - 2016 obesity rate: 30.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 33.2%

    More than 40% of Pennsylvania teens are obese due to adverse childhood experiences that include having a drug-addicted or incarcerated parent. “The more kinds of adverse experiences children endured, the more likely they would have excessive weight issues by middle school or high school,” reported Philly.com.

  • #24. Delaware
    29/ likeaduck // Flickr

    #24. Delaware

    - 2016 obesity rate: 30.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 37.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 38.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 20.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22%

    Delaware resident Tyler Blades, who was 5 feet 5 inches tall and 267 pounds, was told at 13 if he did not lose weight, he would die. The teenager became a statewide example for the problem of childhood obesity before going on to become a long-distance runner who is now training for his first marathon. Laura Saperstein, program administrator for Delaware's Physical Activity Nutrition and Obesity Prevention, said better funding for both school and community-based settings is required to treat childhood obesity.

  • #23. Wisconsin
    30/ f11photo // Shutterstock

    #23. Wisconsin

    - 2016 obesity rate: 30.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 37.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 21.6%

    The state's housing burden, like Florida, is keeping low-income residents strapped for cash and unable to use needed funds to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A county comparison between Ozaukee, with a median income of $78,000, and Menomonie, with a median income of $38,000, points to the unequal socioeconomic status that heavily contributes to obesity.

  • #22. Kansas
    31/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #22. Kansas

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.2%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 43.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 22.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 21.2%

    In 2017, the Topeka Capital-Journal touted the Sunflower State as the only state to reduce its obesity rate in the nation during 2016, declining from 34.2% in 2015 to its current 31.2%. The same year Kansas decreased its ranking, those of Colorado, Washington, Minnesota, and West Virginia increased. The drop in the state's ranking from the seventh highest to the 22nd in the U.S. is attributed to assisting businesses and communities with obesity prevention endeavors.

  • #21. Alaska
    32/ Frank K. // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Alaska

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.4%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 41%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 18.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 17.9%

    The 2017 Alaska Obesity Facts Report showed the percentage of obese Alaskans more than doubled between 1991 and 2015, rising from 13% to 30%. That number continues to rise as seen in the current 31.4%. Karol Fink, director of the Alaska State Health Department's Obesity Prevention and Control program, said the increase surprises her since the Last Frontier State has worked hard to combat the epidemic.

  • #20. Georgia
    33/ Reinhard Kraasch // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Georgia

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.4%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 44.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 23.5%

    Christian Lemmon, a clinical psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia, called the rise in the Peach State's obese percentage from 30.5% in 2014 to 31.6% in 2017 “alarming and concerning.” The doctor said education gaps, health disparities, genetic and behavioral influences, and sedentary lifestyles are some reasons for the rising rate.

  • #19. Ohio
    34/ Chris Gent // Wikimedia Commons

    #19. Ohio

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 42.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.2%

    Ohio's adult obesity rate rose to an all-time high in 2017, with younger adults making up a higher percentage than ever before, according to a Columbus Dispatch report. Central Ohio Nutrition Center reports show that adults in their 20s or 30s are suffering from obesity as opposed to older adults in their 50s or 60s as seen in the past. J.C. Benton, a spokesman for the Ohio Health Department, said state and local agencies are addressing the epidemic on multiple fronts to see younger Ohioans stay healthy as they age.

  • #18. Illinois
    35/ Tony Webster // Flickr

    #18. Illinois

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 38.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.2%

    Chicago is currently over the normal BMI index by almost 7%, and the obese BMI by almost 2%. A 2012 report accurately forecasted how obesity could contribute to millions of more cases of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and obesity-related cancer, which result in billions of dollars in health care.

  • #17. Missouri
    36/ Joe Hendrickson // Shutterstock

    #17. Missouri

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 44.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 23.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 25.5%

    Missouri accounts for 8.1% of the nearly 600,000 kids that dropped out of the Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program in 2018, which is not promising for the future of adolescent obesity in the state. What is promising is the $14 million in funding the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis received to evaluate reducing childhood obesity through family-based programs.

  • #16. North Carolina
    37/ John Ashley // Flickr

    #16. North Carolina

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 43.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 21.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22.6%

    The notion that household dust could accelerate adolescent obesity has come out 194 samples taken from homes in central North Carolina. Lead researcher Christopher Kassotis, and his team from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, found elevated levels of dust chemicals where overweight or obese children live. Kassotis said two-thirds of the dust extracts had the ability to promote fat cell development, suggesting that mixtures of chemicals with an indoor environment are further adding to adolescent obesity.

  • #15. North Dakota
    38/ Guy RD // Shutterstock

    #15. North Dakota

    - 2016 obesity rate: 31.9%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 40.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 27.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 29.3%

    The State of Obesity touted North Dakota's BMI success on their website, reporting it was the sole state that saw “a statistically significant change,” in adolescent obesity. The positive percentage drop from 16% in 2016 to 12.5% in the 2016–17 dataset can likely be attributed to the many statewide policies in place to prevent obesity as well as local hospitals like Sanford Health, which holds an annual Children's Fit and Fun Day.

  • #14. Iowa
    39/ Katherine Welles // Shutterstock

    #14. Iowa

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 41.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 26.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 22.5%

    Iowa is one of seven states with the highest percentage of individuals considered obese, but it's working hard to halt the rising numbers with state officials funding obese prevention programs like “5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count.” The program, which promotes five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, less than two hours of screen time, one hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks, is being implemented in four Iowa counties, including Mills, Dubuque, Fayette, and Henry.

  • #13. Nebraska
    40/ Pat Hawks // Flickr

    #13. Nebraska

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 41.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 27%

    The Cornhusker State is so serious about combating obesity that it built a facility. The Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Disease (NPOD), supported by the National Institutes of Health, welcomes researchers from several states and Canada in order to tackle obesity by tweaking the nutrient content in diets. Since being built in 2014, the center's program directors and students have received national awards and grants for their biological breakthroughs.

  • #12. South Carolina
    41/ Khanrak // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. South Carolina

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 47.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 25.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 28.1%

    In the fall of 2014, the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan was created with a five-year plan ending in 2019. The plan has provided for SCaleDown.org, a website that engages South Carolinians in slimming down, while also offering obesity prevention programs throughout communities and worksites statewide. Currently two out of three South Carolina adults and one out of three children are overweight or obese.

  • #11. Indiana
    42/ Jasssmit // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Indiana

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 42.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 26.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 27.3%

    High Hoosier State BMIs are costing Indiana billions based on a 2019 Richard Fairbanks Foundation report. The ever-rising percentage in the last two decades now costs the state $8.5 billion annually in obesity-related costs, but the promise of policy-based strategies may change that. The report suggests that improved health care systems, enhanced employer incentives and K-12 schools offering healthier options could help both adults and adolescent in Indiana slim down.

  • #10. Michigan
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    #10. Michigan

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 35%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 39.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 24.8%

    Ending the top 10 of most obese states, Michigan's rate is currently 32.3% up from 22.1% in 2000. County by county, the Great Lake state significantly varies in CDC obesity percentage estimates from 2004–2013. MLive.com reported that Saginaw County came in the highest at 38.9% and provided CDC tips that help trim down weight.

  • #9. Oklahoma
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    #9. Oklahoma

    - 2016 obesity rate: 32.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 36%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 51.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.8%

    Though Oklahoma has the fifth highest obesity rate for youth in the country, with approximately 18.7% of obese adolescents ages 10–17 in 2016 and 2017, Dr. Ashley Weedn, co-director of the Healthy Futures program at Oklahoma State University (OSU), told The Oklahoman the real number is likely higher than 25%. In 2018, the CDC awarded OSU $3.9 million for The High Obesity County Program, which is given to counties with more than 40% prevalence of obese adults.

  • #8. Texas
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    #8. Texas

    - 2016 obesity rate: 33.6%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 42.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 19.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 30.4%

    Men's Fitness magazine named Houston as “America's Fattest City,” for three years in a row between 2001–2003 and kept it hovering around #6 for the five years between 2004 and 2009. “In other words, you are about 20% to 30% more likely to die sooner in Dallas or Houston than in Los Angeles, Miami, or New York City,” a report from the Houston Chronicle reads.

  • #7. Kentucky
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    #7. Kentucky

    - 2016 obesity rate: 34.2%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 46.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 24.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 24.8%

    Kentucky has the third highest obesity rate for adolescents ages 10–17, rising to 20.2% in 2017 from 18.5% in 2015. As far back as 2002, state health officials warned Kentuckians of the growing population of obese adolescents and created the Coalition on Type 2 Diabetes and Overweight in Children in Kentucky. However, 17 years later nearly one out of every five Kentucky kids are considered obese.

  • #6. Tennessee
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    #6. Tennessee

    - 2016 obesity rate: 34.8%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 45.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 22.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 21.5%

    The Commonwealth Fund 2018 Scorecard on State Health System Performance rated Tennessee tots as the most obese kids in the U.S., with 34% either overweight or obese compared to the national average of 31%. Tennessee adults are not averaging much better, currently 32.8%, up from 20.9% in 2000 and from 11.1% in 1990. Dr. Shari Barkin, a pediatrician at Tennessee's Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said overweight children will likely become obese adults if food behaviors do not change.

  • #5. Louisiana
    48/ Antrell Williams // Flickr

    #5. Louisiana

    - 2016 obesity rate: 35.5%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.7%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 50.4%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 31%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 29.4%

    Louisiana primary care physician Billy Branch is competing in the Summer of “2019 American Ninja Warrior” in order to show citizens of the state, which has the sixth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, how important it is to for adults to stay active and set a good example for the next generation. Based on Pennington Biomedical Research Center's “Reducing Childhood Obesity in Louisiana,” one out of every three Louisiana children are obese, costing the state serious economic, medical, and physiological costs.

  • #4. Alabama
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    #4. Alabama

    - 2016 obesity rate: 35.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 48.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 27.8%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 24.7%

    The 2019 season of the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge, a statewide initiative to walk, run, hike, bike, swim, paddle, or ride 100 miles annually, is the second year the state, with the fifth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, has attempted to slim down. Though the Heart of Dixie has other statewide initiatives to prevent obesity, including the Alabama Obesity Task Force, the state remains one of the seven with an adult obesity rate at or higher than 35%.

  • #3. Arkansas
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    #3. Arkansas

    - 2016 obesity rate: 35.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 32.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 49.6%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 28.1%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 36.8%

    SB304 and HB1743 are two ways the Natural State is attempting to slim down from its #3 rank on the most obese state list. The legislation that respectively mandates educators to promote healthier eating habits in school and the law that prohibits Medicaid recipients from using benefits to buy soft drinks or candy could assist Arkansas fight the nationwide epidemic. Meanwhile, on a local level, St. Francis County is part of the Arkansas Delta Region Obesity Project, a cooperative agreement with the CDC, being implemented in Arkansas counties where adult obesity rates are more than 40%.

  • #2. Mississippi
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    #2. Mississippi

    - 2016 obesity rate: 37.3%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 34%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 51.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 31.2%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 26.5%

    A dozen of Mississippi’s 82 counties maintain adult obesity rates higher than 40%. The Magnolia State is also one of only seven with an adult obesity rate at or higher than 35%. The medical conditions directly related to obese adults were calculated by the Mississippi Department of Health reported in 2016. In that year alone, 24.8% of Mississippians died from heart disease, 5.3% died from a stroke, and 3.4% from diabetes.

     

  • #1. West Virginia
    52/ Good Free Photos

    #1. West Virginia

    - 2016 obesity rate: 37.7%
    - 2016 overweight rate: 33.3%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat fruit every day: 49.9%
    - Percent of adults who don't eat vegetables every day: 26.5%
    - Percent of adults who don't exercise: 30.8%

    West Virginia is notorious for being the most obese state in the nation, with the highest adult obesity rate in the nation and second highest obesity rate for adolescents ages 10–17. West Virginia childhood obesity tripled between 1980–2008 based on a West Virginia’s Center on Budget and Policy report, further correlating socioeconomic disparity and obesity. Without provisions for healthier food options and medical care, West Virginia will likely remain the most overweight state.

     

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