Fattest State In America: Mississippi Earns The Distinction, But All Of South Has High Obesity

Nathan Francis

The fattest state in America is Mississippi, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, showing that the state has nearly a 35 percent obesity rate.

Though Mississippi may have earned the dishonor of being the fattest state in America, it is far from alone in having high obesity rates, Yahoo News reported. There are 12 other states with more than 30 percent obesity rates among their population, including a top four consisting of states in the South.

Louisiana, West Virginia, and Alabama filled out the top three, all with rates 32 percent of greater. The fattest state in America is also in the fattest region ---obesity rates in the south were 29.5 percent on average, the Los Angeles Times noted. The Midwest was next with 29 percent obesity followed by the Northeast at 25.3 percent and the West at 24.3 percent.

"Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs. It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced," said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, the group that conducted the study.

Levi said the study showed mixed results --- signs that obesity can be reduced through effective methods, but a lack of investments to make this happen

"The good news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity based on making healthier choices easier for Americans," he said. "The bad news is we're not investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and see the returns in terms of health and savings."

The thinnest state in America is Colorado, which had a 20.7 percent obesity rate among residents. Though critics note that this one-in-five rate isn't exactly much to brag about.

The next thinnest states were Hawaii, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

The fattest state in America and all other state figures are available at www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.