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Top 10 Most Obese U.S. States

Name the states of the U.S. where the highest percentage of adults have a BMI greater than 30.
Source: CDC, 2016
Data is self-reported. Actual obesity rates are higher.
Last updated: January 16, 2018
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%
State
37.7
West Virginia
37.3
Mississippi
35.7
Alabama
Arkansas
35.5
Louisiana
34.8
Tennessee
%
State
34.2
Kentucky
33.7
Texas
32.8
Oklahoma
32.5
Indiana
Michigan
+3
level 37
May 31, 2017
I live in North Dakota, there are a lot of obese people, see one almost every day. Most of them are women and men who work at fast food restaurants :D
+12
level 65
Jun 1, 2017
Hah! That' not a very good advertisement for fast food ;)
+12
level 74
Apr 23, 2018
Two of my children worked at McDonald's during high school. I noticed they were gaining weight. They told me that after closing each night, the manager let the workers eat whatever food was left in the warming bins, and so all those hungry teenagers were pigging out on fast food late at night. I know it is wasteful to throw food away, but better wasteful than waist-full.
+2
level 47
Apr 25, 2018
"Food"
+21
level ∞
Jan 16, 2018
And before anyone posts any rude comments, consider that some research shows that overweight people are both nicer and less likely to be depressed than thin people. And while obesity isn't healthy, being slightly overweight may increase your lifespan.
+29
level 62
Jan 17, 2018
This is very rude. So you state, that thin people are not nice and depressed! Body shaming is not acceptable in both ways!!!
+14
level 44
Feb 25, 2018
triggered
+7
level 68
Apr 23, 2018
Please don't post stuff like this. This is almost worse than disparaging overweight people. While it's not okay to shame others or make fun, it is absolutely imperative that people take their health seriously. It has gone as far to create movements like HAES, which is destructive and dangerous to people's mental and physical well-being. Please be more responsible regarding topics like this when you're given a platform of leadership.
+9
level 35
Apr 23, 2018
You're missing the point. He's simply trying to stop others from insulting obese people or the states included in this list
+1
level 68
Apr 23, 2018
I know exactly what I'm talking about. Trying to stop others from insulting, while sincere, is essentially fruitless. It will happen regardless, and it's best to ignore those people. But to propagate misleading information is irresponsible and unfair. There's no measurement of "nicer", besides opinion. To compare it to the opposite end of the spectrum is just furthering the viewing of people as one vs the other or separate. It's akin to saying, "Before you go making racist comments, be wary that ____ people are typically better people than their ______ counterparts." In no way is that helpful or constructive.
+4
level 58
Apr 24, 2018
my gosh. do we have to endure snowflakes at every turn?
+2
level 63
Apr 29, 2018
You might want to be more respectful of differing viewpoints and also the fact that the Quizmaster said that research shows this. He wasn't stating his opinion.
+5
level 73
Apr 24, 2018
Where do you get that overweight people are less likely to be depressed? Almost every fat person I know is depressed to some degree. The research I've done watching Jim Jeffries stand-up suggests that the secret to happiness is being very good looking.
+3
level 70
Jan 16, 2018
I visited Louisiana several years ago and I remember what kind of food people ate, so I just went for all the southern/midwestern states. Got them all fairly easily.
+1
level 62
Jul 3, 2018
Um, only two states (Indiana and Michigan) on this list are midwestern. The other eight are in the south.
+6
level 67
Jan 17, 2018
37.7% is insane considering that the data was self-reported too
+3
level 70
Jan 17, 2018
In most of these states, they serve sweet tea at restaurants with free refills. Enough said.
+3
level 74
Apr 23, 2018
Yes, southerners would be so much healthier if they served poutine, Chicago-style pizza, or cream cheese on bagels washed down with sugary, creamy, coffee drinks instead of shrimp and grits with turnip greens and sweet tea.
+4
level 42
Apr 23, 2018
These states are POOR states. Being POOR means seeking CHEAPER food, and CHEAPER food is almost ALWAYS LESS healthy and MORE fattening. Food stamp users, for example, cannot afford fresh fish and produce, they eat canned soup, TV dinners, McDonald's, sugary SODA POP, manufactured food like crackers, etc--all FAT promoting and most LOADED DOWN with SUGAR. And 40 PERCENT of food stamp users are in JUST these SOUTHERN STATES. Enough said.
+3
level 54
Apr 23, 2018
Probably the most common-sense explanation on these boards.
+2
level 65
Apr 25, 2018
Water is cheaper than soda pop.
+4
level 76
Jan 19, 2018
Georgia is lying! :)
+2
level 53
Apr 23, 2018
No, they're not. Georgia is by far the most developed southern state (assuming you don't include Florida, which is in a class of its own). You simply assume that Georgians are both liars and obese because you know that some people in surrounding states are obese, and that's bigoted, biased, and wrong.

Have you actually been to Georgia, aside from Hartsfield-Jackson? Because if you had, you'd probably not make this assumption.
+1
level 43
Jan 22, 2018
With 1 second left Got West Virginia. Nice Quiz
+2
level 80
Mar 12, 2018
I find it interesting, that while these states are contiguous, it spreads from Mexico to Canada.
+2
level 65
Apr 23, 2018
I was in Florida last year (as a European) and I was amazed in how unhealthy people from the USA live. They do everything by car, even when you only have to travel like 1km down the street. So many fast food restaurants. Almost no healthy fruit or vegetables for sale anywhere. (unlimited refil) Soda everywhere! No bikes/sidewalks. watching television all day instead of exercising. Etc. Etc.
+5
level 75
Apr 23, 2018
While I agree with some of what you say, you are leaping to all kinds of conclusions. "Almost no healthy fruit or vegetables for sale anywhere" is demonstrably false, even though there are some urban areas where they are difficult to find. In one breath you say that Americans drive everywhere, and then go on to say that people can't find fresh fruit, even though there is fresh fruit within a few miles of probably 95% of the population. The problem is much more that people have been conditioned to do the easy thing, and cheap items are packed with extra refined sugars because it keeps people wanting more and more.

Also, go ahead if you want to stereotype a country of 300M+ people by visiting one state for, I'm going to guess, about 7-10 days tops, but does that make ANY sense at all? And people blame Americans for not understanding the world, while many people like you judge the US via limited exposure and what you see on TV. Think about the conclusions you've just drawn.
+2
level 53
Apr 24, 2018
His point is not as valid as he meant it to be, im european myself and in every city there is atleast one market were you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as in basically EVERY supermarket. When i went to The US I also felt the unhealthiness, one example is supermarkets were you can only buy prepared or packaged food and snacks with sugary drinks and candy. There is surely a BIG health gap between Europe and The US
+1
level 65
Apr 24, 2018
I have been to Florida for 2 months (traveling around) and have been in New York City for a week. NYC was a lot better in my opinion. People were excercising and there were many places wher you could buy healthy food (salad bars and stuff). In Florida there was a fast food restaurant every couple hunderd meters. And where here in Europe even most fast food chains sell healthy food there was none to be found in Florida. Also every hotel which included breakfast only had stuff like bacon, muffins, waffles with syrup, chocolate pastrys, juice with sugar added, etc. I just felt unhealthy by being there. A place as big as Walmart had loads and loads of diffent kind of cookies, chips, soda's and what not but limmited healthy foods. Its all so different here in Europe. Now I am not saying we are better or saints ourselves but it was very noticable that there were are lot of obese people living in Florida while there are fewer overhere. I'm just saying that I understand why this is the case.
+2
level 75
Apr 24, 2018
Fair enough Jorissie. I'm not disagreeing that we have a food culture problem here in the US, but it's much more complex than just "Americans are unhealthy." Not sure what part of Europe you are from, but I live in a cold northern part of the US and I think you'd be surprised just how active people are, even in the face of a typical 5-6 months of winter. And honestly, it's hard to compare NYC and Florida, but they are clearly very different culturally.

As far as what you see in the stores, Walmart serves a price-conscious customer, so of course their products will be skewed toward the cheap and easy, which of course are less healthy. Having said that, the closest grocery store to my house IS a Walmart, and they have LOADS of fresh produce every day, and it's the very first thing you see when you walk in. As said before, it's easy to make generalizations, but there's nuance everywhere. I'm just encouraging everyone to look for it instead of jumping to those conclusions. :-)
+1
level 75
Apr 24, 2018
And Eastmountain, I'm not sure where you were, but I can't think of a single supermarket in my area that doesn't have plenty of fresh produce. Maybe that says more about where I live, but I'm tempted to think that you weren't in a typical supermarket (we have plenty of convenience stores where it's ALL grab-and-go food and thus cater to people who care less about that thing or just want something cheap).
+1
level 73
Apr 24, 2018
Eastmountain this is a lie... I have lived in, for example, Romania, Greece, California, and near Washington DC. The options for healthy eating were much more plentiful in the latter two than in the former. The UK doesn't get many points for health food, either. It depends a lot on where you live but of all the many European countries I've visited and/or lived in I never found groceries as well stocked with attractive and healthy food as I could get at Whole Foods, Wegman's, Harris Teeter's, or some of the local markets I would visit in California, except maybe in Sweden. They had some good stuff there. But most of the places I lived in Europe it was hard to find anything healthy to eat. The small markets near me in Ukraine and Belarus sold almost nothing but junk food. And I have also never been anywhere in the US where I saw as many fast food places as I saw in Rotterdam.
+1
level 73
Apr 24, 2018
Then there was Georgia (the country)... I'm not sure how those people are still alive. I tried to eat some katchapuri (I think?).. it was basically a large *very* buttery croissant, hollowed out with an egg in the middle floating on literally half a stick of half melted butter. I removed as much of the butter as I could and still couldn't finish it. Made me sick. To find anything that disgusting in the USA you'd probably have to visit the Iowa State Fair. Other Georgian food was very tasty but almost all of it was extremely greasy.

Americans do (generally) consume too much sugar and too much fat and they don't get enough exercise. It's not complicated. Many European countries are catching up, though, and it's simply inaccurate to say that healthy options aren't available in the US. I always lose weight when I go back to the US because it's so much easier finding "diet," low fat, low calorie options there than anywhere else. Just look. They're there.
+1
level 53
Apr 23, 2018
Y'know, maybe instead of poking fun at Georgia for not being on this list, congratulate them.
+1
level 58
Apr 24, 2018
a little sensitive about Georgia, aren't you?
+2
level 33
Apr 23, 2018
Shouldn't it be top 11 most obese U.S. States?
+1
level 73
Apr 24, 2018
It's a top 10 list but 10th place is a tie.
+1
level 58
Apr 23, 2018
Most of these states are the most conservative and they are among the poorest. Combining those traits with obesity is most interesting.
+2
level 42
Apr 23, 2018
Poverty promotes obesity. Cheaper food is more fattening. See my other posts.
+1
level 56
Apr 23, 2018
Got Michigan with 2 seconds left! YES!
+1
level 11
May 7, 2018
all of them
+1
level 33
Jun 6, 2018
Long live the South!
+1
level 65
Jun 15, 2018
Not that long if they keep on gaining weight... :s