The Obesity Stats Are In – Here Are The Fattest States Ranked
Americans can be proud of so many things, but when it comes to health, it’s not one of them. Sadly, over the globe, Americans are known for being one of the fattest nations in the world. Some would say that this is not the truth, but statistics are saying otherwise, showing that the States have a significant weight problem.
Many are fast to blame the fast joints for this medical disaster, but the truth is that it goes beyond that. Causes vary from medical issues, economic disadvantages, and of course, dietary choices. Some states may shock you, but some of the most beloved states are in a big problem, as their citizens are becoming bigger and sicker. So which states are the fastest by percentage? Read on and check, because it’s the time for a hard look in the mirror.
30. Colorado – 22.6% Obesity Rate
At first glance, the obesity rate of beloved Colorado doesn’t seem as much. However, in reality, this is not a percent to be neglected, especially knowing how many health problems obesity can create.
Among the states, Colorado has the lowest obesity rate. So, imagine the obesity rate in the highest obese state. In Colorado, around 19% of residents have a body mass index of 30 or more.
29. California – 25.1% Obesity Rate
This might surprise many, but the obesity rate is not something to be ignored in this sunny state. The latest data showed that the obesity rate in California is above 20% and broken down by age, this percent is even worse.
The adult obesity rate in California is 12.7%, and 24.2% for those 65 or older. Did you know that the most obese city in California is Los Angeles? In 2011, the City of Angels was listed as California’s fattest city.
28. New York – 25.7% Obesity Rate
In recent years, New York is known as the state fo childhood obesity. An enormous amount of fast food joints, massive portions, and unhealthy nutrition, next to lack of physical activity, drove New York to become one of the fattest states in the country.
Nowadays, obesity in New York is more of an epidemic. More than half of adults in NY are overweight, while 22% of residents are obese. Moreover, it’s interesting for New York that obesity starts early in life. So, be careful what you serve your children.
27. Florida – 28.4% Obesity Rate
The famous Sunshine state is in health problems, due to its high obesity rate all over the state. It concerns that the obesity rate only goes up. So far, only the adult obesity rate in Florida is around 30.7%.
In Florida, children are getting more weight, making the battle against obesity more complicated. Many believe that the obesity rate is higher than public data shows. At the moment, Florida ranks 13th in the nation for childhood obesity, and it’s alarming.
26. Illinois – 31.1% Obesity Rate
In Illinois, obesity is one of the leading health problems. Obesity-related health issues are becoming more and more present in this state. The obesity took so much swing that Illinois representatives started working on specific policy actions to fight this issue.
The obesity rate among high school students is around 14.8%, and it is on the rise. To put this number into some perspective, one in five children is obese.
25. Pennsylvania – 31.6% Obesity Rate
Philadelphia loves good food. If you ever had an opportunity to visit this state, you would withness this claim. Cheesesteaks, thick buns, onions in butter, and cheese wiz are everywhere. With such heavy cuisine, no wonder that Philadelphia is one of the fattest states.
What is really worrying is the fact that children of Pennsylvania are in real health danger. The Keystone State’s childhood obesity is the 9th highest in the nation. Isn’t that something to really worry about? To make things even worse, this more state is tied with Pennsylvania.
24. Georgia – 31.6% Obesity Rate
Just seven years ago, the obesity rate in Georiga wasn’t at its highest peak, as it’s now. In only seven years, Georgia’s obesity rate manage to make a jump from 28% of the obesity rate to 31.6%.
Georgia may be known for its delicious Georgia peaches, but it seems that people aren’t eating them fresh. Truth be told, peaches usually end up in sweets and pies, which are not boy-friendly in large amounts. Children are also at risk by being the 18th in the state with the highest levels of obesity among 10 to 17-years-olds.
23. Delaware – 31.8% Obesity Rate
In Delaware, only 39.7 percent of people have the recommended weight. When it comes to the rest of the population, the situation is drastically different. About a third of adults ages 18 to 25 are slightly overweight or obese. Moreover, it seems that the older people get; they are more likely to suffer from obesity.
When we put it in numbers, that’s about 56% of people being overweight. When it comes to those between 45 and 64, the percent is even higher, around 68% are overweight. All in, 58.6% of all adults in Delaware are either overweight or obese.
22. South Dakota – 31.9% Obesity Rate
South Dakota’S citizens started getting more prominent in the last decade, only to reach the percent of 29.6 of overweight citizens in 2016. In only three years, that number jumped and showes no signs of slowing down. At the moment, 31.9 % of residents in South Dakota are obese. Not overweight, but obese, and that’s a massive problem.
The groups most likely to be affected by obesity rates are those making between $25,000 to $34,999 a year, those with a high school diploma or GED, and Native Americans. In fact, Native American reservations have the highest obesity rates in the state, next to areas such as Sioux City.
21. Wisconsin – 32% Obesity Rate
In Wisconsin, you can find 100 different cheese dishes. Let’s be real, who could resist delicious cheese? Wisconsin residents ave the same problem; they can’t stop eating their delightful cheese. With an obesity rate of 32%, Wisconsin decided to deal with it.
The University of Wisconsin’s School of Public Health has started tracking rates by zip code. Their results were a bit surprising because the study showed that people living in specific zip codes are more likely to become obese.
20. North Carolina – 32.1% Obesity Rate
North Carolina knows how to make good food. Moreover, one of the best barbeque options are here, next to pimento cheese, and grits and shrimp. On top of that, North Carolina is home to famous and delicious Krispy Kreme Donuts. Still, this crazy insane delicious foods can be eaten without massive consequences.
Moreover, 32% North Carolina residents who are obese know this the best. After all, delicious food usually means a lot of calories. According to experts, North Carolina has no healthy options when it comes to food. With that on the mind, it comes as no surprise that the obesity rate went up in the last 20 years.
19. Michigan – 32.3% Obesity Rate
One-third of Michigan residents are obese, and the number used to be higher. Children are also exposed heavily to obesity, with 18.9% between ages 10 to 17 being overweight. For years the number of obese adults and children is on the rise.
This high percent even contributed to the state’s low percentage of high school graduates. Various studies showed many times that a lower level of education means a higher risk of being obese, and this state is no exception.
18. Kansas – 32.4% Obesity Rate
Kansas is home to delicious food. Some would go so far and even say that Kansas is home to unhealthy food. With obesity of astonishing 32.4%, it’s evident that something is rotten in the state of Kansas when it comes to their health.
According to the Kansas Health Foundation, this beautiful state is one of the rare states that had a considerable growth in obesity rated between 2014 and 2015, and that’s only a period of one year. Since then, that percent simply leveled.
17. Missouri – 32.5% Obesity Rate
If you ever want some delicious toasted ravioli, you must visit Missouri. This is the place to go to try this delicious food. This dish was made and popularized in St. Louis and involves cheese-filled pasta, breadcrumbs, and delicious dipping, and deep-fried.
This is the most Americanized Italian food ever. This guilty food comes with an enormous amount of calories, making Missouri a massively obese state. This makes two out of three adults in Missouri obese.
16. Tennessee – 32.8% Obesity Rate
Tennessee is full of classic restaurants, and their menus are full of many fried options. Their menus usually include fried chicken, sweet potato fries, and fried catfish.
This food sounds heavy in calories? That’s because it is. This food adds to the state’s obesity level. Tennessee residents can’t keep away from these foods, and their obesity grows from year to year.
15. Nebraska – 32.8% Obesity Rate
The state of Nebraska is not known for its delicious foods, but its residents are having a huge problem with high obesity. Nebraska knows that it has a huge weight problem and has been working on it for years. Still, their fight is so far unsuccessful.
One of the measures included taxing candies and soda beverages. However, it never passed. The other action included healthier lunches in public schools, so they don’t face obesity down the road.
14. Texas – 33% Obesity Rate
Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, this famous saying applies to obesity in people, as well. One of three adults in Texas is overweight.
The Center for Disease Control reports that 65.9# of people in Texas are overweight, with a Body Mass Index of astonishing 25 or higher. The same report noted that 27.3% of Texans didn’t participate in any physical activity over the previous month.
13. North Dakota – 33.2% Obesity Rate
Far in 1985, the entire obesity rate in the STates was around 15%. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. Afterward, everything went down the hill, and places like North Dakota reach an alarming obesity rate of 33.2%.
Recent reports even shared that 71% percent of residents in North Dakota are having weight issues. Among this percent, 10% of residents have some type of diabetes or high blood pressure. Also, people who live in rural communities are much more likely to be obese.
12. Indiana – 33.6% Obesity Rate
With an obesity rate of 33.6%, Indiana is one of the fattest states in the country. Interestingly, this obesity rate is pretty stable over the years. In 2013, the obesity rate was 31%, which is okay compared to today’s stats. Still, experts are talking that something should be done and quick.
The director of Trust for America’s Health, said “The state really needs to step back and say ‘what can we do more of, what evidence-based programs do we need to put in place, and what is a more comprehensive approach to obesity prevention that we need to embrace?'” Let’s hope that Indiana will start adopting this attitude before things become worse.
11. Ohio – 33.8% Obesity Rate
Teenagers and pre-teens in Ohio are in big trouble since they are the tenth-highest obese group in the country. This means that one in every six children, age between 10 to 17, is overweight.
If this sounds depressing, it should, because this is a wake-up call for Ohio’s residents and health institution. Still, Ohio is optimistic, as, in 2016, the state had a slight dip in their obesity rates. Unfortunately, from there, the numbers continued to grow.
10. South Carolina – 34.1% Obesity Rate
If you even once wen to lovely South Carolina, then you know just how amazing their cuisine is. Still, their dishes are healthy, low in healthy nutrition, and high in unhealthy calories. This is the main reason why the obesity rate in South Carolina is so high.
Around a third of adults in South Carolina suffer from obesity. As you know already, obesity leads to further development of various health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart issues.
9. Alaska – 34.2% Obesity Rate
Some proper nutrition is missing up north in Alaska. In only two decades, the number of obese people doubled in size. In far 1991, only 13% of Alaskans were labeled as obese.
Alaskans are known for putting a heavy focus on early education about making healthy food choices, so doubling this percent came as a huge surprise. Many believe that the main reason for this unhealthy percent lies in the economy. Foods are costly, making it difficult for many to buy healthier food.
8. Kentucky – 34.3% Obesity Rate
Home of fried chicken on this list shouldn’t surprise you. Although this dish is delicious and crunchy, the truth is that it can quickly pump up the hefty amount of fat into your body and lead to obesity eventually. Home of fried Kentucky chicken has a 34.3% obesity rate. In only one year, Kentucky had the second-highest obesity rate among teenagers and young children in the States.
Experts believe that this has a lot to do with the availability of healthy food. Shockingly, Kentucky ranked 43rd when measuring healthy food availability across the state.
7. Arkansas – 35% Obesity Rate
Arkansas residents love foods that are rich in protein and fat. This entire state is all about food experience, and their cuisine involves a lot of meat, various deep-fried dishes, and sweets high in calories.
Arkansas has high statistics when it comes to eating-related issues. Experts claim that this high obesity rate is due to rich offer in fried foods, which is even higher in more rural areas.
6. Louisiana – 36.2% Obesity Rate
Louisiana is home to the most iconic foods in the entire country. In this state, you can try spicy jambalaya, rich gumbo, and most delicious sweet pralines ever. Just thinking about this food is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
Thanks to this exciting and heavy cuisine, the obesity rate is something that the health department in Louisiana has been fighting for years now. Shockingly, obesity is a huge problem in children aged 2 to 4 years old, when 13.2% suffer from obesity. In high school, the percentage of obese children is 17%, while weight gain issues are more prevalent among the African-American community, followed by the Latino community.
5. Alabama – 36.3% Obesity Rate
You can’t leave Alabama without trying their well-known chicken fried steak. The obesity rate is getting higher and higher each year, and Alabama health representatives are apprehensive about the state’s future. Some claim that 69 percent of adults in Alabama have some weight issues, or they are obese.
Still, another study shows that lack of physical activity is the main reason for weight gain. In numbers, 31% of adults had not engaged in any physical activity over the previous month.
4. Iowa – 36.4% Obesity Rate
Have you ever heard of Iowa State Fair? This fantastic fair is known for its crazy food combinations, most of which can be found on a stick. How crazy are their combinations? You can see on stick bacon-wrapped chicken wings, a butter cake shake, caramel-dipped pecan pie on a stick, bacon balls, and even fried avocado.
Even healthy food here is fried. These combos are so crazy that you can gain pounds merely from thinking about it. Still, if Iowa wants to heave healthier residents, they must provide healthier options on sticks, that are not fried.
3. Oklahoma – 36.5% Obesity Rate
Based on the latest data, Oklahoma is in big trouble when it comes to nutrition, especially in children. In this state, around 18% of children age between 10 to 17 are obese. With such a high percent, Oklahoma has the sixth-highest childhood obesity rate in the country. Even Oklahoma’s in high school are obese, resulting in 17%.
In the last 30 years, Oklahoma doubled its obesity rates among children and adults. Experts believe that such a high obesity rate is linked with Oklahoma’s attachment to sugary drinks, including energy drinks and soda.
2. Mississippi – 37.3% Obesity Rate
Mississippi has a rich offer of pies and other fattening foods, that makes Mississippi resident bigger every year. The obesity rate in Mississippi is on the rise for decades, and there are no signs of slowing down.
Around 37.3% of adults in Mississippi are obese, or they are one pie away from being obese. This means that more than one and a half million people in Mississippi are obese or overweight. This is dangerous toward residents that obesity is officially the biggest threat to the health of Mississippians.
1. West Virginia – 38.1% Obesity Rate
West Virginia’s Health and Human Services division has officially announced obesity to be their most pressing public health concern that they are facing the state today.
With such a vast obesity rate, government officials in West Virginia claim that all of this unhealthy eating has resulted in $1.4 to $1.8 billion in preventable medical costs. Further, they believe that obesity is also linked with low productivity rates, costing employers about $506 per obese worker per year.