#FatLivesMatter - America's Most Obese States

Tyler Durden's picture

Americans have never been fatter, but beneath the surface of the 'union', some states and ethnicities are more obese than others...

At 18.5%, Hawaii has the lowest adult obesity rate in the U.S., closely followed by Colorado at 19.8%. As Gallup reports, they are the only two states in which the obesity rate is below 20%. West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate, at 37.0%. In addition to West Virginia, at least one in three adults are obese in Mississippi, Delaware, Arkansas and Oklahoma.


Of the 18 states with obesity rates of at least 30.0%, all but one are located in the South or Midwest. Meanwhile, all 11 states with obesity rates below 25.0% are located in the Northeast or West.


The national obesity rate reached a new high of 28.0% in 2015, up significantly from 25.5% in 2008, when Gallup and Healthways began tracking obesity. Fourteen states had statistically significant increases in their obesity rates from 2008 to 2015, while no state registered a statistically significant decline. Maine, West Virginia, Idaho and Oklahoma experienced the sharpest upticks in obesity.

Since 2008, the obesity rate for the Midwest has increased by 3.2 percentage points, more than any other region. The South followed closely behind, with a 2.9-point increase. The Northeast and West have seen smaller, but still statistically significant, increases of 2.0 and 1.8 points, respectively.

As the adult obesity rate continues to rise both nationally and within many states, preventable healthcare costs will also rise. If states can lower their obesity rates, even modestly, they can achieve significant cost savings and improve their residents' well-being.

Given that obesity is associated with illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer, the medical costs for an obese person amounted to $1,429 more per year than for a person of a normal weight, according to research conducted in 2008 by RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After adjusting for inflation, the annual medical costs for 2015 are $1,573 more for a person who is obese than for a person of a normal weight.

Gallup calculated the incremental cost of healthcare per year for each state by multiplying the estimated number of obese people in the state's population by the annual incremental $1,573 cost of obesity per person.

In the five most obese states, the annual incremental cost of obesity per 100,000 residents averages $54 million. By contrast, the average cost is $34 million in the five least obese states. In other words, per capita medical costs attributable to obesity are about 1.6 times higher in the five states with the highest obesity rates than in the states with the five lowest rates.


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D Nyle's picture

Now I know where to put Heart Attack Grills


robertsgt40's picture

High fructose corn syrup doesn't help matters. 

SWRichmond's picture

If "obese" is according to BMI, then inflated statistics.  Body builders are "obese" according to BMI.

ClydeCrashcup's picture

If you have walked through any airport, or sports stadium, or shopping mall, or any crowded location in the USA (and I won't even gratuitously mention any Wal-Mart) in the last ten or twenty years, you would realize that these high obesity rates are hardly due to any recent national epidemic of body-building.

Automatic Choke's picture

They weren't thinking -- they should redo those statistics in "health care per pound", and it will come out in favor of the fatties.

J S Bach's picture

It's hard to burn calories when you're watching an average of 5 hours of soul-fulfilling television on the couch every day.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

So I'm moving from California to Arizona. Does this make me look fatter? Go on, be honest with me. Is it the move or just the plaid?

NidStyles's picture

Let's see it by ethnicity. That will tell the full story, especially when compared with welfare rates.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Want to see the grossly obese? Drop by our local greasy all-you-can-eat place.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Counterintuitively, the grease isn't necessarily the problem.    Insulin prevents fat cells from releasing fat and signals them to make more.and store it.  What causes insulin levels to rise?   Eating fat doesn't.   Carbs do. Some.other things do.  For example some milk proteins.  Wanna.release fat from fat cells?  Low fat dieting will fail every time.  

nflux's picture

about 10 years ago i went to a Golden Corral in West Virginia. Even back then the 37% did not come close to the obesity rate there.

roddy6667's picture

I looked up "poor white trash" in the dictionary and it had a picture of a Golden Corral.

Dsyno's picture

Haha. Yes, but those BMI charts ARE total bullshit. Whether you have more muscle than average, or more fat, that simplistic chart in your Dr's office says you're fat.

"Well we better prescribe you some pills, John. All your work as a lumberjack has made you obese."

Curiously_Crazy's picture

Dr's know it's bullshit (though not *total* bullshit). If yours doesn't then find a new one.


It's an indicator, nothing more; I'm 6'2 and 96kg (about 210 pounds) which just nudges me in the 'overweight' catagory (there is 'overweight' before the 'obese' the charts in the article refer to) but my Doc didn't think twice about it because my body fat is 10% - thus the 'indicator' was irrelavant to my situation.

If on the other hand your 6'2 210 pounds with 20% body fat there is a problem major Tom.

The BMI is used along with the aformentioned body fat percentage alongside blood pressure, cholesterol and all manner of other things to give an overall idea of health.

No-one, and I mean no-one takes it as the be all and end all. Except it seems from the comments some people in the US heh.

nflux's picture

20% body fat isn't a problem no matter what your height, especially if you are female

cheka's picture

break it down by county and it perfectly matches the welfare map


only in today's world would nyc.dc devise a scheme to steal money from the working class to give free food to fat people

AsinineBovineFeces's picture

It's hard to find the time to cook healthy meals when you've got a busy schedule of bong rips & Jerry Springer re-runs. 

gunsnmoney's picture

Free food!!!! Where????????

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Let's get everyone to resent the fat people for the disgustingly overpriced services in our healthcare 'system'.  More divide and conquer (with obscene profits to boot)!!!


BarkingCat's picture

BMI - big mac index?

Is that 21.2 per day or per week?


valjoux7750's picture

Crazy, i just this morning i heard a report about a study that says statiscly  fat peeps live as long as "normal" folks.

whoda thunk it?

logicalman's picture

If someone suggested you carry around 50 bags of sugar every hour of every day you'd say they were nuts.

That's what being 100lb overweight means.

You can move further, faster if you are travelling light and you don't overload your joints.


Curiously_Crazy's picture

They already tax the fuck outta ciggarette smokers because they're an easy target - so much so that the taxes they raise more than offset the added health costs (not to mention smokers tend to die earlier so aren't filling up old peoples homes).

Why not resent fat fucks? Why not tax sugary artificial foods the same way they do alcohol and tobacco? Oh that's right because fat fucks compose about 25-30% of the population on the whole so it wouldn't be a vote winner.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) SWRichmond May 13, 2016 4:47 PM

I agree. When I was active duty I was classified as "overweight" according to the height / weight charts for my age. That was complete bullshit. I have never been in better shape than when I failed that BS test.

I ran two miles a day and six miles on Saturday. I worked out for two hours a day, lifting weights, six days a week. The only day I didn't exercise or watch my diet was on Sunday.

I rode a bicycle, or walked, everywhere. And I also rode with the local riding club every Saturday, usually at a full gallop, through the local forest. Never fell off.

Fuck the standards. People know when they are fat. Or not.

Cold War Kid's picture

Yeah, no kidding, I was always considered overweight by army standards, and I was pretty skinny. I just checked my BMI now and am considered obese. Most people wouldn't even call me "chunky," Not my damn fault my shoulders are 3 foot wide.

finametrics's picture

indeed. i suffer from this issue.

roddy6667's picture

When I was 36 years old I had a company-required physical. At the time I ran 3 miles 6 days a week and 5 miles on Sunday. I worked out with weights every day. I was 5' 9 1/2" tall and weighed 185 pounds. You could see my ribs. I could dead lift over 400 pounds and do 22 chinups. This doctor with arms the size of Q-Tips told me I should weigh 160 pounds. I wondered if I should cut off my legs to meet his chart numbers.

I'm 68 now and a lot heavier, but I hike in the mountains and leave people half my age in the dust. I also remembered that doctors die younger than the population in general, so don't listen to much they say. Unless you want to die sooner, that is.

zhandax's picture

"Well there's more old drunks than there is old doctors, so I guess I'm gonna have another round".     WN

Diablo's picture

LOL you must be one of those fat fucks that wears a size 40 pants and refuses to believe that youre fuckin obese. Let me guess, you have a thyroid problem too, or is it big bones?



TrustbutVerify's picture


Neither does just eating too much of anythiing you can get your hands on in combination with getting minimal exercise. 

snr-moment's picture

Actually, eating as much bacon, eggs, ham, low carb cheese, and ribeye steaks as I can shove in my pie hole for the last 9 months I have lost 35 lbs.  And never in my life was I above 240.  I can still bench 220.

Tall Tom's picture

Actually, eating as much bacon, eggs, ham, low carb cheese, and ribeye steaks as I can shove in my pie hole for the last 9 months I have lost 35 lbs.  And never in my life was I above 240.  I can still bench 220



Are you active? Being able to benchpress your body weight indicates that you are active.


Stuffing your face AND NOT EXERCICSNG leads to obesity.


That is what he wrote. Both clauses must be true for his statement to be true...which it is true.

snr-moment's picture

I've ALWAYS been active, even at 240.  I mix 80 lb quikretes and plant things for fun.  It wasn't the activity.


which means you can be both active and fat.

Tall Tom's picture

It wasn't the activity.


which means you can be both active and fat.




Are you sure about that?


The excess calories have to go somewhere....


If they are not burned nor stored as fat then they are excreted down the toilet.


if you are excreting calories down the toilet then you have a Digestive Tract disorder.


Are you Diabetic?

snr-moment's picture

Yeah, I was trending that way until I went full on atkins, and then the blood sugar normalized and the ldl dropped about 40%.  Never felt better.  except when I was 30.

save yourselves.  eat natural fats and proteins.


yeah, and about the excess calories.  I can eat upwards of 3500 cals per day of protein and animal fat and lose weight.  Carbs?  I gain weight at 2500 cals per day.  I don't get it.  Only felt hungry first week.

snr-moment's picture

"If they are not burned nor stored as fat then they are excreted down the toilet."


yeah, you might be on to something there.  Atkins says I should get constipated.  With me, exact opposite.  Scoped from both ends, negative.  Except for nasty case of eosinophilic esophagitis.  (allergic)


oh, and to be clear.  I was scoped 6 years ago.  Long before I started Atkins.

Sanctuary2's picture

ive been hearing that-is it true?

Dsyno's picture

"And never in my life was I above 240... and I'm an easy 5'6"... which if you round up, makes me 6'. And I can still bench about 2:20, 2:45, 3pm... whenever I can get in the gym."

snr-moment's picture

Yeah, I'm 5' 10".


You eat all the fuckin nuts and berries you want, just don't tell us how to live.

Dsyno's picture

Oh I know the kinds of nuts and berries you like to eat.

snr-moment's picture

ya know, I forgot about the pork chops and venison burgers and prime rib.  oh well.  (and max 2 glasses dry red wine per day).  Too many carbs and STDs in your type of diet.

Dsyno's picture

"Actually, eating as much bacon, eggs, ham, low carb cheese, and ribeye steaks as I can shove in my pie hole for the last 9 months I have lost 35 lbs."

Plot twist: "snr-moment" is female... and she was pregnant... and her baby weighed 35lbs.

Diablo's picture

Enjoy your heart disease.


snr-moment's picture

not female.  enjoy your leukemia.

Tall Tom's picture

High fructose corn syrup doesn't help matters





Well it may not harm people as much as you might think...


I am 6' 7" tall and i drink at the very least, 2 Liters of Mountain Dew, with a large content of High Fructose Corn Syrup daily...I have been doing that behavior...for decades.


I weigh in at 180 lbs.


I live a sedentary lifestyle.


I am definitely not obese.


A valid hypothesis must include all of the data.

BarkingCat's picture

"A valid hypothesis must include all of the data."


You are a freak or have a clan of tape worms camping inside you.

Probably both.

Cold War Kid's picture

It's all the caffeine in the mountain dew. If he drinks that much every day, his body is still gonna be shaking 3 days after death.

Tall Tom's picture







I am sedentary, inactive.


I'd probably sleep 18 hours per day without it.