This Is America’s Least Obese County

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Obesity has become an epidemic in America. An estimated 35% or more of adults had obesity in 16 states, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Most of these states are in the South and Midwest. Obesity levels vary nationwide, and America’s least obese county is Teton County, Wyoming.

The cost of obesity to human life is extraordinary. Obesity can increase the risk of several diseases, depression, and early death. On a financial level, obesity triggers medical costs of $147 billion a year, according to another CDC study. (These are healthy foods that are actually ruining your diet.)

Obesity status is determined by body mass index, which is a ratio determined by height and body weight. Americans with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese and therefore at greater risk of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, breathing problems, certain cancers, and mortality, according to the CDC. Obesity also can detract from overall quality of life and contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

While the United States has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, there are parts of the country where obesity remains relatively uncommon. Using adult obesity rates data from the 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 24/7 Wall St. identified the least obese county in the United States. (This is Americas most obese state.)

Most counties with low obesity levels are located in the West, including 15 counties in Colorado and 10 in California.

The county with the lowest obesity level in America is Teton County, Wyoming. Here are the details:

Adult obesity rate: 11.0%
Adults who do not exercise: 10.8% (fifth lowest)
Adults with diabetes: 2.4% (the lowest)
Adults reporting poor or fair health: 11.4% (36th lowest)

Methodology

To determine America’s least obese county, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed adult obesity rates from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program’s 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report.

The adult obesity rate is defined as the share of adults 20 years and older who report a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher. While the CHR report is from 2021, obesity rate figures published in the report are from 2017.

Of the 3,220 counties or county-equivalents considered, 3,142 had boundaries that fell within one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Counties with a 2019 five-year population estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau of less than 1,000 were excluded.

The remaining 3,106 places were ranked based on the adult obesity rate. Additional information on the share of adults who report no leisure-time physical activity, who are diagnosed with diabetes, and who report fair or poor health also came from the 2021 CHR.