Fitness and Wellness, Lifestyle

Where You Live Might Effect Your Level of Obesity

Body weight seems to be a national concern no matter what state you live in — but who would have ever thought where you live might actually have an effect on how obese you are or aren’t. According to a recent Gallup poll, it’s all about location, location, location when it comes to the fat to non fat ratios.

If you live in Hawaii or Colorado you will be among the least of the obese populous in America. Colorado has consistently had one of the two lowest obesity rates each year since 2008. In addition to Colorado, three states — California, Massachusetts and Connecticut — have been among the 10 states with the lowest obesity rates since 2008.

What makes these states consistent when it comes to their residents being less “fat”? One word: wellbeing. Turns out your state of mind and personal situation (including financial, social, community and purpose) has a lot more to do with whether or not you might find yourself overweight or not.

Mississippi and West Virginia have had the two highest obesity rates in the nation since 2012. Five states on the list have had consistently high obesity rates — Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. These states have been among the 10 states with the highest obesity rates every year since Gallup and Healthways began tracking obesity in 2008.

States with the highest obesity rates:

obesitybyusstateMississippi (35.2%)
West Virginia (34.3%)
Louisiana (33.2%)
Arkansas (33%)
Oklahoma (32.6%)
Alabama (32.1%)
Kentucky (31.5%)
Indiana (31.4%)
Iowa (31.1%)
Missouri (30.9%)

It isn’t all bad news. You can also check out the states with the lowest obesity rates. Hawaii has the lowest rate, and was the only state where fewer than one in five residents are obese.

States with the lowest obesity rates:

Hawaii (19%)
Colorado (20.3%)
Montana (23.5%)
California (23.9%)
Massachusetts (24%)
Idaho (24.2%)
South Dakota (24.6%)
New York (24.7%)
Minnesota (24.8%)
Connecticut (24.9%)

Why is this so worrisome? Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, among other serious health issues.

Sometimes obesity is not an easy problem to solve, but there are some things you can do. First and foremost, take care of yourself by eating well, watching portion sizes, reducing your “screen” time (TV, computer, mobile) and exercise frequently.

This isn’t something to mess around with. Your life could depend on it.

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Jenna Bensoussan is an entertainment, lifestyle and wellness writer and editor. She served as executive editor for Smart Talk Magazine, associate editor for Counselor Magazine, and continues to serve as contributing editor for ACED Magazine. She has also contributed to newspapers such as the Boynton Times. Bensoussan holds a B.A. in communication and public relations from Florida Atlantic University.