Are You Living in One of the Fattest States?

Personal Health

More Americans are overweight than ever before, but Mississippi and West Virginia hold the dubious distinction of having the highest obesity rates in the country, with both weighing in at more than 35%. This according to a new report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which also brings the distressing news that 18 states—including the entire South—have obsiety rates of at least 30%. On the other end of the scale, Colorado and Hawaii are the relative slimmest, with only 22% of their residents considered obese.

Seven U.S. states and the District of Columbia came in with rates just below one quarter of the population. New York was just slightly higher at 25.4%. 

One of the more alarming revelations of the study is how quickly high obesity rates have overtaken the nation. According to the Washington Post's writeup of the study, in 1990, no U.S. state had an obesity rate higher than 15%. A mere 10 years later, there were just two that had one lower: Arizona and Colorado. By 2010, no state had a lower rate than 20%. The numbers have been rising every year; in last year alone, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming all saw significant increases.

With obesity rates throughout the country averaging 35%, the U.S. is by far the fattest country—probably not the way Americans aspire to be number 1.

The cause of skyrocketing obesity rates may not be known, but certain correlations between demographics are undeniable and disturbing.

  • Blacks have obseity rates higher than 40% in 11 states and 30% in 41 states.
  • Latinos have rates higher than 30% in 23 states.
  • Whites are higher than 30% in only 10 states.
  • More than a third of those earning less than $15,000 a year are obese.
  • A quarter of those earning $50,000 are overweight.
  • Baby boomers are more likely to be obese than any other age group.

Check out the Post's interactive map for obesity rates by state.  

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by