Do You Live in the Fattest State?

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More than 1.8 million people live in the state with the highest obesity rate. One out of every three adults there is seriously overweight.

Last week, Gallup released some obesity data as part of its Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Based on the heights and weights 353,564 randomly selected people, they found people were more likely to be obese in five states.

In West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama, more than 3 out of every 10 adults had a body mass index (BMI) over 30, the threshold for obesity. They’re in order: West Virginia had the highest rate at 33.5 percent.

Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Oklahoma and Iowa round out the top 10.

West Virginia has been the most obese for three years in a row. On the bright side, the rate is lower than last year when it was 35.3 percent. Rates across the country haven’t changed much, with a few exceptions: New Jersey, Georgia, and North Carolina got noticeably fatter and Delaware saw a drop in obesity. In general, everybody’s gotten fatter since 2008, according to the study.

The skinniest states? Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Connecticut, California, Utah, Arizona, Rhode Island, Idaho, New Jersey, and Washington. All of those have rates under 25 percent, although Colorado is the only one under 20 percent (18.7).

Obesity rates match up pretty well with rates for high blood pressure and diabetes, although there is some fluctuation in the rankings.

Stacy Johnson

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