Health Care

Report: 2015's fattest states in America

WalletHub.com

A new report from WalletHub aims to rank states by the degree of and consequences of obesity, and South Carolina is ranked low.

The Palmetto State comes in at 5th, from a health standpoint better only than Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi. In general, Southeastern states fared worse than New England and Western states.

The rankings are based on the rates of overweight residents and obesity as well as behavioral measures such as inactivity, cholesterol and hypertension levels, diet smarts and access to healthy food.

Here is an interactive map showing the states by their overall rankings. Bluer states have an overall unhealthy degree ov overweight people and unhealthy habits. Below the map is some raw data, including the overall rank by state, rank by weight and rank by habits and health problems.

Finally, we present the methodology used by the study authors, including the exact measures used and their sources.

Source: WalletHub
Overall RankStateOverall Score‘Obesity & Overweight Prevalence’ Rank (highest =1)‘Unhealthy Habits & Consequences’ Rank (highest =1)
1Mississippi51.7313
2Louisiana51.3322
3West Virginia50.1161
4Tennessee48.9356
5South Carolina48.46315
6Arkansas48.43413
7Kentucky48.3768
8Alabama46.9819
9Oklahoma46.571017
10North Dakota46.391114
11Texas46.18926
12Indiana45.77169
13Delaware45.431710
14Georgia45.11223
15North Carolina44.971911
16Arizona44.751420
17Kansas44.7227
18New Mexico44.63295
19Ohio44.181825
20Michigan44.141528
21District of Columbia43.95354
22Iowa43.792121
23Illinois43.611343
24Maine42.623024
25Nevada42.52045
26Missouri42.422629
27Nebraska42.262630
28Wisconsin42.212433
29Alaska42.172534
30Pennsylvania41.753231
31New Hampshire41.673916
32Maryland41.662346
33South Dakota41.412841
34Virginia40.913142
35New York40.743340
36Idaho40.613638
37Florida40.443832
38Wyoming40.34135
39California40.164039
40Rhode Island39.993447
41Washington39.944527
42Minnesota39.724337
43Oregon39.714718
44Vermont39.444822
45Connecticut39.333751
46Montana38.914249
47Utah38.724912
48Massachusetts38.34448
49New Jersey38.154644
50Colorado35.935136
51Hawaii35.85050

Methodology

In order to identify the states with the biggest weight problems, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, including “Obesity & Overweight Prevalence” and “Unhealthy Habits & Consequences.”

Next, they compiled 12 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights.

To obtain the final rankings, they attributed a score between 0 and 100 to each metric. The more points a state accrued, the bigger its weight problems are. Therefore, 100 points = the worst state. We then calculated the weighted sum of the scores and used the overall result to rank the states. Together, the points attributed to the two major dimensions add up to 100 points.

Obesity & Overweight Prevalence – Total Points: 70

  • Percentage of Adults Who Are Overweight: Full Weight (~11.67 Points)
  • Percentage of Adults Who Are Obese: Double Weight (~23.33 Points)
  • Percentage of Children Who Are Overweight: Full Weight (~11.67 Points)
  • Percentage of Children Who Are Obese: Double Weight (~23.33 Points)

Unhealthy Habits & Consequences: 30

  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Physically Inactive: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Percentage of Residents with High Cholesterol: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Percentage of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Percentage of Residents with Diabetes: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Percentage of Residents with Hypertension: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Adolescents: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Death Rate Due to Obesity: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Healthy-Food Access (percentage of urban-area residents with low income and living more than 1 mi. from a grocery store or supermarket): Full Weight (~3.75 Points)

Sources: Data used to create these rankings were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Trust for America's Health and the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

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