The Fattest States in America from The Fattest States in America

The Fattest States in America

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The Fattest States in America

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More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese, and more than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health. More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese. A report from JAMA Internal Medicine even found that, for the first time in history, the number of obese people has surpassed that of the overweight. The following list is based on latest research and analysis of overall, adult and high school obesity done by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and WalletHub, a data and statistics website. A recent review by 24/7 Wall St. has also been taken into account. The Top 15 almost always include the same states; they only slightly vary in ranking positions.  

Arkansas

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Arkansas has the highest adult obesity rate in the nation – 35.9 percent, up from 21.9 percent in 2000 and from 17.0 percent in 1995. Slightly more women are obese than men. As much as 18 percent of high school kids are obese, placing the state 4th in that category. A little more than 14 percent of 2- to 4-year-old kids are obese too. The trend has been increasing since 1998.   

West Virginia

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West Virginia ranks as the state with the second highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity.[See: 20 Surprising Tips for Eating Healthy] It is currently 35.7 percent, up from 23.9 percent in 2000 and from 13.7 percent in 1990. About 40 percent of age groups 26-44 and 45-64 are classified as obese. West Virginia is doing slightly better in high school obesity with a rate of 17.9 percent, ranking 5th. WalletHub places the state at No. 1 in terms of unhealthy habits and consequences. 

Mississippi

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Mississippi is one of the most obese states in every category, regardless of study. It ranked in the Top 3 in all of them. The State of Obesity placed it 3rd with 35.5 percent of adults being obese. The state has the highest number of obese children in high school – 18.9. The trend was going down after 1999 but spiked back up in 2013 and has been higher since. WalletHub ranks Mississippi at the very top in obesity and overweight prevalence.   

Louisiana

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Louisiana has the 4th highest adult obesity rate in the U.S., according to The State of Obesity. Its adult obesity rate is currently 34.9 percent, up from 22.6 percent in 2000 and from 12.3 percent in 1990. There is no data on its current high school obesity rate but, according to the CDC, 15.5 percent of 2- to -5-year-old are overweight and 12.5 percent are obese. WalletHub puts Louisiana at No. 2 in the obesity & overweight and unhealthy habits & consequences categories.

Alabama

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Two separate studies say the adult obesity rate in Alabama is 33.5 and 33.6 percent, ranking it fifth and fourth, respectively. [See: The 22 Worst Things You Can Do For Your Body] Either way, the trend is only getting worse – increasing from 22.6 percent in 2000 and from 11.2 percent in 1990. Alabama is faring fairly well in the WalletHub ranking. The state is eighth in terms of obesity and overweight and 19th in unhealthy habits.

Oklahoma

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The adult obesity rate in Oklahoma goes up by about 10 percent a decade. The state now has the sixth highest in the U.S., according to The State of Obesity, with 33 percent of people over 18 being obese, compared to 20.1 percent in 2000 and from 10.3 percent in 1990. The state is sixth in terms of high school obesity, 17.9 percent, even though it went down from 16.7 percent in 2011 to 11.8 in two years.

Indiana

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Indiana now has the seventh highest adult obesity rate – 32.7 percent – in the nation, according to The State of Obesity. It’s up from 20.5 percent in 2000 and from 13.3 percent in 1990. The good news is that the number of obese high school students has gone down – 13.6 percent in 2016, compared to 14.7 in 2011. Indiana is out of Top 15 in the obesity and overweight category in the WalletHub study, but it ranks ninth when it comes to unhealthy habits and their consequences.

Ohio

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The adult obesity rate in Ohio has increased again. It’s is 32.6 percent, way up from 20.6 in 2000 and up from 30.4 percent in 2013. It has been steadily increasing since a slight decrease in 2004 to 24.4 percent. While in most other states the percentage of obese people in the 26-44 and 45-64 age groups are fairly the same, there is a big difference in Ohio – 31 percent in the former category, compared to 39.5 percent in the latter.

North Dakota

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North Dakota now has the ninth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity, at 32.2 percent, a huge increase in just three years from 27.8 percent. The state ranks lower in obesity among high school students – 14 percent. According to the CDC, 63.6 percent of adults are overweight and 13.5 of adolescents are overweight. But more –of 2- to 4-year-old kids are obese – 14.1 percent. 

South Carolina

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South Carolina is No. 10 in The State of Obesity study with adult obesity rate at 32.1 percent, up from 21.1 percent in 2000 and from 12.0 percent in 1990. The state is doing worse, according to WalletHub. It placed in third place in terms of obesity and overweight prevalence. South Carolina ranked ninth in the 24/7 Wall St. analysis with an overall obesity rate of 31.6 percent.

Texas

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Obesity in Texas is at all time high at almost 32 percent, even though it went down to 29.2 percent just four years ago. In 1990, only 1 in 10 Texans was obese. Just over 31 percent have high blood pressure, and the number of people with heart disease is projected to increase by more than 4 million a year by 2030. WalletHub puts Texas in ninth place when it comes to obesity and overweight prevalence but in 26th when it comes to unhealthy behaviors and consequences.

Kentucky

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Kentucky now has the 12th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity. [See: 15 Most Fulfilling Foods that Will Help You Lose Weight]The adult obesity rate is currently 31.6 percent, up from 21.7 percent in 2000 and from 12.7 percent in 1990. WalletHub ranks the state even worse – sixth in the obesity & overweight category and eighth in unhealthy habits. The obesity rate among high school students is the third worst in the U.S. at 18.5 percent.

Kansas

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Almost one in every three adults in Kansas is not just overweight but obese, putting the state in 13th place in the country at an exact rate of 31.3 percent. WalletHub ranks the state 17th overall but seventh when it comes to unhealthy habits and consequences, suggesting that the obesity rate will, at the very least, stay fairly the same.

Wisconsin

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Wisconsin now has the 14th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity. As much as 31.2 percent of people 18+ are obese, up from 19.4 percent in 2000 and from 11.8 percent in 1990. The state department of health says that one in four high school students in Wisconsin and almost 30 percent of kids between 2 and 4 years of age are overweight or obese.

Tennessee

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Tennessee is 14th in the adult obesity category, according to The State of Obesity. Just over 31 percent percent of adults are obese, up from 20.9 percent in 2000 and from 11.1 percent in 1990. WalletHub ranks the state in the unhealthy habits & consequences category. [See: 17 Healthy Habits That Keep You Young] A CDC survey showed that only 24.2 percent were physically active for a total of at least 60 minutes per day on each of the 7 days prior to the survey and just about 23 percent of adolescents participated in daily physical activities.

Delaware

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Delaware had the 13th-highest adult obesity rate in the United States in 2013, according to The State of Obesity. The rate is 31.1 percent, up from 22.5 percent in 2004 and from 14.4 percent in 1990. WalletHub ranks the state as being the 10th worst in the number of people with unhealthy habits and suffering their consequences. Obesity among high school students is also 10th at 15.8 percent. 

New Mexico

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New Mexico ranks 32nd in adult obesity – 28.4 percent (the rate was actually down to 26.4 in 2013). The state however is 11th in high school obesity at 15.6 percent. WalletHub puts the state in fifth place as far as unhealthy habits of local residents go. [See: Health Symptoms You Should Never Ignore (But Dismiss Anyway)] A CDC report from 2013 showed New Mexico's obesity rate among 2- to 4-year-olds fell from 12 to 11.3 percent.

South Dakota

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South Dakota is on the list because of its high school obesity rate,  which is the 12th highest in the U.S. at 14.7 percent. The adult obesity rate is 23rd, currently at 29.8 percent, up from 18.4 percent in 2000 and from 10.7 percent in 1990. It has been slowly decreasing while the number of obese adolescents has spiked since 2013.

Michigan

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The 24/7 Wall St. review ranked Michigan as the state with the 10th highest overall obesity rate at 31.4 percent. The State of Obesity says the rate of obese high school students is 14.3 percent, putting the state in 13th position. WalletHub ranks it 15th in the obesity & overweight prevalence category. 

Alaska

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Two-thirds (66 percent) of Alaskan adults are overweight or obese, and many of these adults are dealing with obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, according to the state department of health. Obesity is not just limited to adults and Alaska's youth are becoming part of the rapidly rising obesity rate. The State of Obesity says the rate among high school students is 14 percent, the 14th highest in the country.