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Mississippi Tops State Obesity Ranking

State-by-State Ranking: Mississippians Most Massive, Coloradans Leanest
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

This article is from the WebMD News Archive. For more information on this topic visit: Obesity


Aug. 29, 2006 -- Mississippians are the most massive Americans, while Coloradans are leanest, a state-by-state obesity survey shows.

Nearly 30% of Mississippi adult residents are obese. The state tops the new list from Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit group lobbying to make disease prevention a national priority.

But Mississippi isn't alone. It's among the 13 states in which at least one in four adult residents is obese.

The 10 states with the highest obesity rates are:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Alabama
  3. West Virginia
  4. Louisiana
  5. Kentucky
  6. Tennessee
  7. Arkansas
  8. Indiana (tie for 8th)
  9. South Carolina (tie for 8th)
  10. Texas

Colorado is the leanest state. But that's only by comparison: Seventeen percent of Coloradans are obese. Not even a single U.S. state is near the national goal of reducing the obesity rate to 15% by 2010.

The 10 states with the lowest obesity rates are:

  1. Colorado
  2. Hawaii
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Vermont
  6. Connecticut
  7. Montana
  8. Arizona
  9. Utah
  10. Nevada

Call for Government, Employer Action

The rankings include data collected from 2005 and from a three-year interval of 2003-2005. They come from the CDC's annual telephone survey.

What can be done? According to its 2006 report, The Trust for America's Health says "individual behavior change will not work in isolation."

It recommends:

  • Fast-tracking research to identify the best ways to fight obesity
  • Full funding for long-term government actions
  • Using measures of improved nutrition and physical activity rather than weight loss to measure progress
  • Community-driven efforts to increase access to healthy foods in low-income areas
  • Improved physical fitness programs and nutrition in schools
  • Employer initiatives to give employees places -- and time -- to exercise
  • Nutritional labeling of foods based on product size rather than serving size

Complete State List

The 2005 state-by-state rankings:

Alabama: 28.9% obese, rank: 2
Alaska: 27.5% obese, rank: 15
Arizona: 21.1% obese, rank: 43
Arkansas: 28.0% obese, rank: 7
California: 22.7% obese, rank: 30
Colorado: 17.8% obese, rank: 51
Connecticut: 20.1% obese, rank: 46
Delaware: 23.5% obese, rank: 29
District of Columbia: 21.7% obese, rank: 39
Florida: 22.8% obese, rank: 35
Georgia: 26.5% obese, rank: 12
Hawaii: 19.7% obese, rank: 50
Idaho: 24.5% obese, rank: 31
Illinois: 25.0% obese, rank: 23
Indiana: 27.2% obese, rank: 8
Iowa: 25.4% obese, rank: 21
Kansas: 23.9% obese, rank: 26
Kentucky: 28.6% obese, rank: 5
Louisiana: 30.8% obese, rank: 4
Maine: 22.7% obese, rank: 34
Maryland: 24.4% obese, rank: 24
Massachusetts: 20.7% obese, rank: 49
Michigan: 26.2% obese, rank: 11
Minnesota: 23.7% obese, rank: 27
Mississippi: 30.9% obese, rank: 1
Missouri: 26.9% obese, rank: 14
Montana: 21.3% obese, rank: 45
Nebraska: 26.0% obese, rank: 20
Nevada: 20.7% obese, rank: 42
New Hampshire: 23.1% obese, rank: 36
New Jersey: 22.1% obese, rank: 40
New Mexico: 21.8% obese, rank: 41
New York: 22.2% obese, rank: 36
North Carolina: 25.9% obese, rank: 17
North Dakota: 25.4% obese, rank: 18
Ohio: 24.5% obese, rank: 15
Oklahoma: 26.9% obese, rank: 13
Oregon: 23.8% obese, rank: 33
Pennsylvania: 25.3% obese, rank: 19
Rhode Island: 21.0% obese, rank: 47
South Carolina: 29.1% obese, rank: 8
South Dakota: 25.5% (obese, rank: 22
Tennessee: 27.4% obese, rank: 6
Texas: 27.0% obese, rank: 10
Utah: 21.2% obese, rank: 43
Vermont: 20.2% obese, rank: 47
Virginia: 25.1% obese, rank: 25
Washington: 23.3% obese, rank: 31
West Virginia: 30.6% obese, rank: 3
Wisconsin: 24.4% obese, rank: 28
Wyoming: 24.2% obese, rank: 36

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