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States with the highest rate of obesity

  • 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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.

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