America’s State Obesity Rankings

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America’s State Obesity Rankings

A new report by the organization Trust for America's Health compounds bad news on top of bad news about obesity in the United States.

For the first time, 9 states have adult obesity rates above 35%. Just six years ago, no state was over 35%. Today Mississippi and West Virginia are tied at about 39.5% of adults categorized as obese. Arkansas (37.1%), Louisiana (36.8%) and Kentucky (36.6%) round out the five worst states. The remainder of the nine over 35% are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri and North Dakota.

The states with the lowest obesity rates are Colorado (23%), District of Columbia (24.7%), Hawaii (24.9%), and Massachusetts and New Jersey (25.7%).

There is a significant racial divide as well. While 47% of Hispanic and African Americans are obese, the rate among whites is 38% of whites but only 13% of Asians.

Obesity Is Our Greatest Health Challenge - And More

Obesity is our single greatest public health challenge and has gotten so bad that it is more than that. I have written before that obesity hurts the economy through higher employee costs, higher absenteeism and lower productivity. The US military calls it a significant challenge to our national defense and says obesity is the single most common reason prospective recruits are disqualified for service.

We need bipartisan approaches to fixing it. Politicians don’t want to talk about it, instead pivoting to their canned healthcare and poverty stump speeches.

Full List of Adult Obesity In The US (2018)

Tie: Mississippi and West Virginia (39.5%)
3. Arkansas (37.1%)
4. Louisiana (36.8%)
5. Kentucky (36.6%)
6. Alabama (36.2%)
7. Iowa (35.3%)
8. North Dakota (35.1%)
9. Missouri, (35.0%)
10. -Tie: Oklahoma and Texas (34.8%)
12. - Tie: Kansas and Tennessee (34.4%)
14. South Carolina (34.3%)
15. -Tie: Indiana and Nebraska (34.1%)
17. Ohio (34.0%)
18. Delaware (33.5%)
19 -Tie: Michigan, North Carolina (33.0%)
21. Georgia (32.5%)
22. New Mexico (32.3%)
23. Wisconsin (32.0%)
24. Illinois (31.8%)
25. -Tie: Maryland and Pennsylvania (30.9%)
27. Florida (30.7%)
28 -Tie: Maine and Virginia (30.4%)
30.Tie: Minnesota and South Dakota (30.1%)
32. Oregon (29.9%)
33. New Hampshire (29.6%)
34. Three-way Tie: Alaska, Arizona and Nevada (29.5%)
37. Wyoming (29.0%)
38. Washington (28.7%)
39. Idaho (28.4%)
40. Utah (27.8%)
41. Rhode Island (27.7%)
42. New York (27.6%)
43. Vermont (27.5%)
44. Connecticut (27.4%)
45. Montana (26.9%)
46. California (25.8%)
47. -Tie: Massachusetts and New Jersey (25.7%)
49. Hawaii (24.9%)
50. District of Columbia (24.7%)
51. Colorado (23.0%)

1 thought on “America’s State Obesity Rankings”

  1. Thank you for publishing this. It is so concerning that we can’t find a public policy approach to this that has been able to make a difference. Public/ private partnerships on the matter with a specific goal (a la the moonshot) could be a way to align everyone.

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