America is in the grip of an obesity epidemic.
According to JAMA, nearly 40% of adults in the U.S. are obese and the number continues to rise, putting more and more people at risk to related health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
Obesity is also a costly affair. Medical costs in the U.S. reached the billion-dollar mark several years ago.
According to the CDC, a person living with obesity will pay $1,429 more in medical costs than a person at a normal weight.
Armed with this knowledge, consumer protection advocacy group ConsumerProtect recently delved deeper to establish which are the most obese states in the U.S.
Topping the list is West Virginia, where an estimated 38.1% of adults are obese, according to recent data. The prevalence of diabetes, which is linked to obesity, is also highest in West Virginia. Coming in at a close second is Mississippi, which also ranks as the state with the lowest life expectancy in America.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Colorado boasts the lowest obesity rates with 22.6%. Hawaii and California also feature some of the lowest obesity rates. A common link is that these states tend to have good weather conditions and beautiful scenery, making it easier for residents to lead active lifestyles. This could be related to improved eating habits which in turn lead to better overall health.
So, which states have the highest obesity rates? Here we look at the top 10, followed by the percentage of adults who are obese:
10. Ohio — 33.8%
9. South Carolina — 34.1%
8. Kentucky — 34.3%
7. Arkansas — 35%
6. Louisiana — 36.2%
5. Alabama — 36.3%
4. Iowa — 36.4%
3. Oklahoma — 36.5%
2. Mississippi — 37.3%
1. West Virginia — 38.1%
And here are the 10 states with the lowest percentage of people who are obese:
10. New Jersey — 27.3%
9. Connecticut — 26.9%
8. Nevada — 26.7%
7. Massachusetts — 25.9%
6. New York — 25.7%
5. Montana — 25.3%
4. Utah — 25.3%
3. California — 25.1%
2. Hawaii — 23.8
BONUS: Distict of Columbia (not a state but highly ranked) — 23%
1. Colorado — 22.6%
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