The Top 5 U.S. States with the Most Obesity

  U.S. State % Adult Obesity % Overweight & Obese
1 Mississipi/ West Virginia 35.1% 69.3%/ 68.8%
2 Arkansas 34.6% 69.9%
3 Tennessee 33.7% 68.4%
4 Kentucky 33.2% 67.3%
5 Louisiana 33.1% 67.4%
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  1. Obesity is defined as having a very high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass, or Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of an adult's weight in relation to his or her height, specifically the adult's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his or her height in meters.
  2. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-two states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent.
  3. Americans consume an average of 300 more calories per day than they did 25 years ago and eat less nutritious foods.
  4. Experts estimate that more than a quarter of America's health care costs are related to obesity. The sharp rise in obesity has accounted for 20 to 30 percent of the rise in health care spending since 1979.
  5. Adult diabetes rates increased in 19 states in the past year. In seven states, more than 10 percent of adults now have type 2 diabetes.
Top 5 facts sources: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Report: F as in Fat How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2009.
Tags: Health Statistics, Top 5 Most, The United States, Obesity Statistics

Sources:  Trust for America's Health: "The State of Obesity 2014."

List Notes: Data is percentage of adult population that is obese ranked by US state for the year 2013. Percentage of overweight and obese is the percentage of that state's population who are overweight and obese. For the purposes of this list, obesity is defined as an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass. Overweight refers to increased body weight in relation to height, which is then compared to a standard of acceptable weight. standard of acceptable weight.
U.S. States with the Most Obesity

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