Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 71.6% of the US adults over the age of 20 are either obese or overweight. Americans spend an estimated $200 billion a year in health care costs related to obesity. Weight loss and diet control is a $72 billion market in the US. Here we take a look at the top 10 fattest states in America.
Obesity is more prevalent in some states than others. It is primarily caused by unhealthy eating habits, lack of sleep, lack of physical activity, genetics, and emotional instability. It could lead to a number of severe health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer, according to the CDC.
Personal finance publication WalletHub conducted a study to find out the fattest states in America where “obesity and overweight most dangerously persist.”
WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 29 key metrics such as the share of the obese and overweight population, obesity-related health care costs, and sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents. They also analyzed data on physical activity rates, food consumption, and health consequences.
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These are the top 10 fattest states in America, according to the WalletHub study:
The Buckeye State is the 10th fattest state in America. It ranks 8th for food and fitness, 10th for obesity and overweight prevalence, and 16th for health consequences. Buckeyes, the state’s most popular comfort food, contains 362 calories per serving.
Delaware ranks 9th with an overall score of 63.33. The state ranked 4th for health consequences, 14th for obesity and overweight prevalence, and 26th for food and fitness. An estimated 33.5% adults in Delaware are obese. It also has the second highest percentage of overweight adults.
Arkansas has the 4th highest percentage of physically inactive adults and 4th highest percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables a day. Arkansas received a total score of 63.68. It ranked 7th for obesity and overweight prevalence and 4th for food & fitness. Last year, Arkansas was named the third fattest state in America.
Louisiana received a total score of 64.30. The state ranked 4th for food & fitness, 8th for obesity and overweight prevalence, and 15th for health consequences. Louisiana has the highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol, and the highest percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.
The Sooner State received an overall score of 64.52. It ranked 3rd for obesity and overweight prevalence and 12th for food & fitness. Oklahoma has the 3rd highest percentage of obese adults and 5th highest percentage of obese children. It also has the 5th highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol, and physically inactive adults.
Alabama ranked 1st for food & fitness and 6th for obesity and overweight prevalence. It is the fifth fattest state in America with a total score of 64.67. Alabama has the 2nd highest percentage of adults with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It has the 3rd highest percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.
With a score of 66.89, Tennessee ranks 2nd in food & fitness, 5th in obesity and overweight prevalence, and 9th in health consequences. The state has the highest percentage of overweight children in the country. Tennessee’s most popular comfort food, the Memphis baby back ribs, contains 500 calories per serving.
Kentucky has moved from 4th place in 2018 to 3rd spot this year. The state made the top ten in most of the key categories. Its most popular comfort food, Hot Browns, contains a staggering 951 calories per serving. Kentucky ranks 2nd in obesity and overweight prevalence, 8th in health consequences, and 9th in food & fitness. It has the highest percentage of physically inactive adults, and 3rd highest percentage of overweight children.
2- West Virginia
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. West Virginia has performed poorly in almost every health-related survey. It has appeared at the bottom of the Gallup’s National Health and Well-Being Index for ten consecutive years! WalletHub gave West Virginia a score of 69.93. The state ranked 1st in health consequences and 4th in obesity and overweight prevalence.
WalletHub has named Mississippi the fattest state in America. According to data from the CDC, it has the highest percentage of obese children, and 2nd highest percentage of physically inactive adults. It also has the third highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol. The state’s favorite comfort food Mud Pie contains 510 calories per serving.