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Weight and Obesity Awareness Behavior Cardio-Vascular

Most Obese/Overweight American Cities

1 month, 1 week ago

2831  0
Posted on Mar 14, 2024, 7 p.m.

Americans are most often portrayed as being largely sedentary and obese, it turns out this is not just stereotypical it is statistically correct. Americans are some of the most overweight people around the world, with nearly 42% of adults being obese. This extra weight is also causing an extra burden on healthcare with obesity-related medical treatment costing approximately $190.2 billion annually and work absenteeism costing around $4.3 billion a year. 

Across the nation, the rate of obesity continues to increase, but certain areas appear to be more responsible for tipping the scales towards poor health outcomes than others. This study conducted by WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated metropolitan areas across 19 key indicators of weight-related problems to identify where obesity was most prevalent in America to highlight the pressing need for public health awareness, education, and interventions. The dataset ranges from the number of inactive adults to projected obesity rates by 2030 and access to healthy food. 

“Obesity is becoming more and more prevalent in the U.S., and it’s costing us big time. In the most overweight and obese cities, residents often lack easy access to healthy food and recreation opportunities, so investing in those areas should help improve people’s diets and exercise regimens, and reduce the financial burden overall,” said Cassandra Happe, who is a WalletHub analyst. 

Here’s a look at the top 3 most overweight and obese cities in the United States of America:

McAllen, Texas was ranked the most overweight/obese city in America due to having the largest percentage of obese adults (45%) with an additional 31% overweight adults. This city also has the second-highest percentage of obese teenagers as well as the second-highest percentage of obese children. Along with the general obesity statistics, residents are also very affected by diseases related to being overweight, for example, the city has the fourth-highest percentage of diabetes and the third-highest percentage of heart disease. All this may be largely due to the residents not exercising much, as this city has the highest percentage of physically inactive adults, and the lowest percentage of residents living close to parks or recreational facilities. 

Jackson, Mississippi comes in as the second most overweight/obese city with alarmingly high rates of teenage and adult obesity and the highest rate of obesity among children aged 10 to 17 years old (24%) and another 19% of young overweight people. The residents also have obesity-related health problems, for example, the city has the highest percentage of adults who have had a stroke, the fourth-highest percentage of adults with diabetes, and the sixth-highest percentage of high blood pressure. The outcome for this city does not look well as it has several contributing factors such as limited access to healthy food and lower than average exercise rates, resulting in Jackson having the second highest projected obesity rate for 2030. 

Shreveport, Louisiana is the third most overweight/obese, this city has high rates of obesity among children, teenagers and adults, with 36% of adults being overweight and another 36% being obese. This city has the second-highest percentage of adults (39%) with high cholesterol levels, and the highest percentage of high blood pressure ( over 40%). This may be due to residents eating unhealthy as the city has some of the lowest rates of adults who eat fruits and vegetables at least once a day. Unfortunately, many of the residents here also lack easy access to healthy food, and they are largely physically inactive. 

Rounding off the overall top five: Mobile, Alabama ranked 4th, and Little Rock, Arkansas ranked 5th. On the other end of the rankings of the least overweight/obese cities, the bottom 5 were: San Jose, California ranking 96th, Denver, Colorado ranking 97th, Boston, Massachusetts ranking 98th, Honolulu, Hawaii ranking 99th, and Seattle, Washington rounding off the list ranking 100.

In rankings for obese adults: McAllen, TX had the highest percentage ranking first, Little Rock, AR ranked second, Akron, OH ranked third, Mobile, AL ranked fourth and Wichita, KS ranked fifth. Scrolling down the list, Tucson, AZ ranked 96th, San Diego, CA ranked 97th, Bridgeport, CT ranked 98th, San Jose, CA ranked 99th, and Asheville, NC ranked 100th.

In ranking for physically inactive adults: McAllen, TX had the highest percentage ranking first, Mobile, AL ranked second, Jackson, MS ranked third, Miami, FL ranked fourth, and Lexington-Fayette, KY ranked fifth. At the bottom of the list, Sacramento, CA ranked 96th, Denver, CO ranked 97th, Raleigh, NC ranked 98th, Seattle, WA ranked 99th, and Provo, UT ranked 100th. 

In rankings for low fruit/vegetable consumption: Baton Rouge, LA had the highest percentage ranking first, Lafayette, LA ranked second, Shreveport, LA ranked third, Chattanooga, TN ranked fourth, and Memphis, TN ranked fifth. Moving down the list, Raleigh, NC ranked 84th, Sacramento, CA ranked 85th, Lexington-Fayette, KY ranked 86th, Allentown, PA ranked 87th, and Portland, ME ranked 88th. 

In rankings for diabetic adults: Mobile, AL had the highest percentage ranking first, Baton Rouge, LA ranked second, Memphis, TN ranked third, McAllen, TX ranked fourth and Jackson, MS ranked fifth. Rounding off the list, Honolulu, HI ranked 95th tied with Colorado Springs, CO, Asheville, NC ranked 97th, Seattle, WA ranked 98th, and Denver, CO ranked 99th tied with Bridgeport, CT. 

“Invest in nutrition education and promoting healthy eating habits in schools, workplaces, and communities,” says Dr. Jeffrey J. Fisher, director of the Allen Foundation Culinary Nutrition Center and associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Central Michigan University. “Bring back the USDA SuperTracker, an interactive food and physical activity tracking tool. Continue collaborating with the food industry on nutritional labeling to empower consumers to make better food choices. Work with the food industry to encourage the reformulation of products to include more plant-sourced foods.”

“Eating healthy on a budget can be challenging, but it is possible. Meal planning is a great tool to stick to a budget and avoid food waste,” said Dara W. Ford, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, Program Co-Director, Masters of Science in Nutrition Education, Professorial Lecturer, Department of Health Studies, College of Arts and Sciences at the American University. “Some very nutritious foods are also foods that are low in cost including rice, beans, legumes, and grains. These products can offer complex carbohydrates and proteins. Along with this, canned beans are an excellent source of nutrients, and often are inexpensive. They also store well, and stocking up when costs are low is a great way to decrease expenditure. Replacing meats with beans lowers the price significantly and increases health outcomes. Fresh fruits and vegetables can add up. If you really want fresh, buy in-season produce to lower costs. Also, canned and frozen options are an excellent source of nutrition, have a longer shelf life, and are much lower in cost. If items you buy regularly are available in bulk, do a unit price comparison. This is often a good way to save money. Along with buying in bulk, purchasing store-brand products rather than name brands can result in significant savings. Finally, see if your grocery store has any kind of member savings.”



Overall Rank 

Metro Area

Total Score 

Obesity & Overweight Rank 

Health Consequences Rank 

Food & Fitness Rank 

1

McAllen, Texas

85.54

4

2

2

2

Jackson, Mississippi

84.58

2

6

8

3

Shreveport, LA

83.82

7

4

17

4

Mobile, AL

83.11

10

7

11

5

Little Rock, Arkansas

82.31

5

24

7

6

Knoxville, Tennessee

81.71

25

1

18

7

Memphis, Tennessee

81.65

23

3

4

8

Lafayette, LA

81.64

8

25

15

9

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

81.28

11

5

26

10

Chattanooga, Tennessee

81.15

20

8

13

11

Birmingham, Alabama

81.02

18

12

3

12

Columbia, South Carolina

80.06

21

16

10

13

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80.03

9

31

21

14

Tulsa, Oklahoma

79.64

6

22

36

15

Fayetteville, AR

79.34

14

26

28

16

Augusta, Georgia

79.31

31

13

6

17

New Orleans, Louisiana

78.91

13

23

25

18

Canton, OH

78.78

39

10

23

19

Wichita, Kansas

78.39

37

17

12

20

Youngstown, Ohio

78.23

22

41

16

21

San Antonio, Texas

78.18

1

33

67

22

Winston, North Carolina

77.77

68

11

1

23

Fort Wayne, IN

77.66

41

18

14

24

Greenville, South Carolina

77.65

36

34

9

25

Dallas, Texas

77.61

12

32

39

26

Myrtle Beach, SC

77.47

32

28

24

27

El Paso, Texas

77.33

3

64

45

28

Louisville, Kentucky

76.83

15

14

64

29

Charleston, South Carolina

76.58

17

57

30

30

Greensboro, North Carolina

76.31

62

15

5

31

Huntsville, AL

76.22

33

91

20

32

Akron, Ohio

76.11

19

60

37

33

Toledo, Ohio

75.94

27

40

31

34

Detroit, Michigan

75.79

58

9

29

35

Riverside, California

75.56

55

19

22

36

Albuquerque, New Mexico

75.54

16

36

52

37

Lexington-Fayette, KY

75.50

30

39

32

38

Nashville, Tennessee

75.40

28

59

27

39

Dayton, Ohio

75.39

40

45

35

40

Columbus, Ohio

74.62

26

43

51

41

Grand Rapids, Michigan

74.54

42

35

48

42

Cincinnati, Ohio

73.78

24

27

82

43

Indianapolis, Indiana

73.33

45

48

40

44

Scranton, Pennsylvania

73.17

59

37

41

45

Richmond, Virginia

73.10

70

20

42

46

Cleveland, Ohio

73.02

34

72

44

47

Providence, Rhode Island

73.02

48

56

49

48

Kansas City, Missouri

72.90

44

63

34

49

Houston, Texas

72.57

29

62

65

50

Charlotte, North Carolina

72.57

60

21

56

51

Virginia Beach, Virginia

72.22

57

30

59

52

Phoenix, Arizona

71.90

49

61

43

53

Reno, NV

71.75

51

47

60

54

Omaha, Nebraska

71.64

38

67

69

55

Des Moines, Iowa

71.47

46

86

53

56

Hartford, Connecticut

71.34

66

53

50

57

Las Vegas, Nevada

71.28

50

29

87

58

Raleigh, North Carolina

71.16

56

46

62

59

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

71.07

43

38

81

60

Durham, NC

70.86

74

80

19

61

Atlanta, Georgia

70.49

47

42

85

62

Allentown, Pennsylvania

70.35

67

77

47

63

Baltimore, Maryland

70.33

64

54

58

64

Asheville, NC

70.19

82

50

38

65

Anchorage, AK

69.77

63

65

61

66

Austin, Texas

69.65

35

79

89

67

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

69.61

52

44

90

68

New Haven, Connecticut

69.41

71

75

66

69

St. Louis, Missouri

69.39

54

66

76

70

Spokane, Washington

68.60

72

78

57

71

Orlando, Florida

68.01

79

49

74

72

Tucson, Arizona

67.50

75

52

84

73

Springfield, Massachusetts

67.39

87

69

63

74

Los Angeles, California

66.93

73

71

79

75

Portland, ME

66.85

85

81

71

76

Tampa, Florida

66.78

69

83

77

77

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

66.75

65

88

80

78

Manchester, NH

66.66

92

51

54

79

San Diego, California

66.21

83

58

86

80

Bridgeport, Connecticut

66.01

81

98

73

81

Jacksonville, Florida

65.84

88

68

72

82

Washington, District of Columbia

65.56

53

76

98

83

Miami, Florida

65.48

76

85

83

84

Chicago, Illinois

65.37

61

92

94

85

Ogden, Utah

65.24

94

70

46

86

Worcester, Massachusetts

65.19

89

95

55

87

Sacramento, California

64.68

77

82

92

88

New York, New York

64.22

79

74

99

89

Boise, Idaho

64.17

91

55

78

90

Provo, Utah

63.75

100

84

33

91

Salt Lake City, Utah

63.22

99

73

75

92

Portland, Oregon

62.07

78

89

97

93

San Francisco, California

62.01

86

97

93

94

Colorado Springs, Colorado

61.83

97

94

68

95

Minneapolis, Minnesota

61.65

84

87

96

96

San Jose, California

60.77

90

100

91

97

Denver, Colorado

60.57

98

99

70

98

Boston, Massachusetts

60.55

96

90

88

99

Honolulu, Hawaii

59.04

93

93

100

100

Seattle, Washington

58.33

95

96

95

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that metro area, where a rank of 1 represents the worst conditions for that metric category.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

https://wallethub.com/edu/fattest-cities-in-america/10532

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/cba592fb-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/cba592fb-en

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/learn-the-facts/economic-costs-of-obesity/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=immAoLxYqbo

Data used to create this ranking were collected as of February 19, 2024, from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, County Health Rankings, United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Gallup-Sharecare, Trust for America's Health and WalletHub research.

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