What's the Most Obese State?
According to a new poll by Gallup-Healthways, Mississippi is the most obese state in the country with an obesity rate of 35.2 percent. The state has maintained this title for two years in a row, with West Virginia coming in right behind at 34.3 percent.
The "skinniest" state is Hawaii with an obesity rate of 19 percent. It's the only U.S. state with an obesity rating lower than 20 percent in the poll. Overall, the nation's obesity rate increased from 27.1 percent in 2013 to 27.7 percent in 2014.
Researchers gather these results through interviews with more than 176,000 U.S. adults who reported their own heights and weights. They then used the data to calculate people's body mass index (an indicator of body fatness). People with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
The state with the most improvement is Tennessee, which had a decrease in its obesity rate between 2013 and 2014, falling from 31.3 percent to 28.4 percent.
Because there is a strong correlation between well-being and obesity, researchers at Gallup suggest that it may take more than diet and exercise to reduce obesity rates in the states with high percentages. The team suggests that obesity interventions should also address other areas of well-being.