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November 14th, 2018 at 1:55 am

50 U.S. States ranked by how fat their people are, according to scientific data (There are some big surprises)

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Sorry, Mississippi.

A new study ranks all 50 states plus the District of Columbia by how fat their residents are. And there are some real surprises.

Across the United States, a staggering 70 percent of people are either overweight or obese. It’s part of what drives the $66 billion weight loss industry, which is always a good target for entrepreneurs.

But it also adds $200 billion a year to our nation’s health costs.

So, this state ranking combines 25 different data points on each state’s population to help us figure out which states have the biggest problems. Each state was then assigned a combined score from 1 (best) to 100 (worst). The data included things like:

  • percentage of residents (adults and children) who are overweight or obese;
  • percentage of residents who are physically active (or not);
  • percentage of adults with high cholesterol;
  • percentage of adults with healthy diets (and who eat at least 1 serving of fruits and vegetables each day).

Obviously, the mere fact that someone lives in a supposedly fit or fat state doesn’t mean he or she personally is overweight or not. Heck, I live in the 11th fittest state according to this, and I’m well aware I could lose a few pounds.

But the ranking does challenge some of the stereotypes about where the healthiest people might live in the country. Here’s the list, which was put together by WalletHub. We’ll do this backwards, going from worst to first, and discussing the states briefly in tiers.

Tier V: The fattest states

All of the worst states on this list were in the South, and the absolute worst state in terms of fatness ranking was Mississippi, with a score of 72.97 out of a possible 100.

Mississippi also had the worst ranking in the country in terms of obesity and overweight prevalence. And in another study, Mississippi workers also reportedly got the least exercise of anyone in the country. The full bottom tier looks like this:

51. Mississippi 72.97 out of 100 (1 is best; 100 is worst)

50. West Virginia 70.14

49. Arkansas 69.69

48. Kentucky 67.71

47. Tennessee 67.67

46. Louisiana 66.89

45. Alabama 64.56

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44. South Carolina 63.64

43. Oklahoma 63.09

42. Texas 62.45

Tier IV

The second to the bottom tier largely consists of states in the so-called Rust Belt.

41. Indiana 62.44

40. Ohio 62.39

39. Delaware 62.27

38. Georgia 61.46

37. Michigan 61.30

36. Missouri 59.70

35. North Carolina 59.17

34. Iowa 58.77

33. Maine 58.36

32. Kansas 58.30

Tier III

It’s a little more difficult to say exactly what states like Rhode Island, Florida and Alaska have in common. However, these are largely states with a larger percentage of senior citizen residents, which could be a factor.

31. Wisconsin 57.87

30. Rhode Island 57.86

29. Nebraska 57.24

28. Maryland 57.12

27. Pennsylvania 56.83

26 Wyoming 56.72

25. North Dakota 56.46

24. Illinois 56.15

23. Florida 56.12

22. Alaska 55.90

Tier II

If you were to look at the list of states where people get the most exercise at work, you’d see that the top 20 in each list are almost identical. (The order is different, but the grouping is very close.) Seems like that could be a big clue.

21. Virginia 55.83

20. New Mexico 55.49

19. South Dakota 55.15

18. Washington 55.10

17. New Hampshire 55.10

16. Arizona 54.68

15. New York 53.75

14. Minnesota 53.64

13. Nevada 53.07

12. Idaho 52.52

Tier I

Here are the top 10 states (plus D.C.), with the most fit residents. Interestingly, they’re also largely (but not exclusively) urban states, where you’d think people have limited outdoor space and are more likely to work long, stressful, sedentary jobs.

But, apparently the people in metro areas around places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. are the ones who make time to exercise, eat right, and watch their weight.

And to the folks of Colorado, who topped both this list and the exercise at work list, keep up the good work.

11. New Jersey 52.40

10. Oregon 52.13

9. Vermont 52.07

8. Connecticut 51.80

7. Montana 50.83

6. California 49.97

5. Washington, DC 49.49

4. Massachusetts 48.09

3. Hawaii 46.97

2. Utah 44.41

1. Colorado 44.35

Via Inc.com

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