Obesity, which is defined as having a body mass index over 30, is associated with a higher risk for developing several serious conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer — which are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
Obesity is a complex health concern with a wide range of contributing factors that include genetics, access to healthy food, insufficient sleep, and sedentary lifestyle, among other factors. Partially as a result, obesity rates can range considerably from state to state as well as between cities of the same state.
24/7 Tempo reviewed health data from the 2022 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, to identify the most obese metro areas in every state.
Low-income areas tend to have higher obesity rates. People with lower incomes are often less able to access health care and afford a healthy lifestyle, in part because they may have less access to a healthy diet. Only 10 of the cities with the highest obesity rates on this list have a median household income higher than that of their respective state.
Though the underlying causes of obesity are many, the potential health outcomes are more apparent. One of them is diabetes. All but seven of the most obese cities on our list have an adult diabetes rate higher than the statewide rate..
Even in the states with the lowest obesity rates in the country — such as Colorado and California — a quarter of the state population is obese. Nationwide, here are the most obese states.
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