The fattest state in America, according to a Gallup poll, is… Mississippi, with a huge obesity rate among its citizens at 35.4 percent
Bringing up the rear, so to speak, in order of obesity, are West Virginia (the fattest state for the prior three years), Delaware, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The Gallup Well-Being Index is derived from random telephone interviews of about 200,00 adults across the country in 2013.
The top five states with the lowest obesity are Montana, Colorado (formerly number one), Nevada, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Montana is the only state in the union according to these findings with an obesity rate below 20 percent (clocking in at 19.6 percent).
A person with a body mass index of 30 or more is considered obese; last year, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease.
It’s interesting that many of the most-obese states are in warm climates, where you would think that fat-burning outdoor activities and fitness would perhaps be more the norm.
On a national basis, obesity increased to 27.1 percent from 26.2 percent in 2012, as America’s waistline continues to collectively expand.
According to Gallup, residing in fat city (or state), as it were, is fundamentally not a good thing: “Those living in the 10 states with the highest levels of obesity are more likely to report having had a diagnosis of chronic disease at some point in their lives, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, cancer, and heart attacks, than are those living in the 10 states with the lowest obesity rates. Gallup-Healthways data show an average 35.8% of Americans living in the 10 states with the highest obesity rates report a high blood pressure diagnosis, while 26.4% of Americans living in the 10 least obese states say the same — a difference of 9.4 points.”
Added Dr. James Pope of Healthways, which partnered with Gallup on the obesity survey, “While there are a variety of factors that are often correlated with rising obesity rates, such as an unhealthy food environment, poor eating habits, increasing portion sizes, and inactivity, experts agree that the health consequences of obesity are real.”
In a separate Gallup finding, the happiest state in America turned out to be North Dakota despite its bitterly cold winters. North Dakota is benefiting from an oil exploration boom and has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
Whether or not you are a resident of one of the fattest states, are there a lot of obese people where you live?
[image via Shutterstock]