Tags: obesity | overweight | united states | cities | south | mcallen | texas

The Top 5 Most Obese Cities in the US

obese man in white t-shirt, black pants, carrying a scale
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 14 March 2024 01:51 PM EDT

A new survey found that the South is not only known for its fine cuisine, but also home to many of the nation’s most overweight and obese people. More than 40% of U.S. adults are obese, costing the country a whopping $190.2 billion annually in medical care treatment and another $4.3 billion in productivity losses due to work absenteeism.

The WalletHub survey of the fattest cities in America for 2024 found that McAllen, Texas, topped the list with the highest percentage of obese adults, as well as overweight children and teenagers. Jackson, Mississippi, came in second and Shreveport, Louisiana, took third place with its obesity crisis.

According to Study Finds, Mobile, Alabama, and Little Rock, Arkansas, rounded out the top five most overweight U.S. cities.  To determine their findings, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across three key factors: obesity and overweight, health consequences, and food and fitness. At the other end of the spectrum, Denver, Colorado, Boston, Massachusetts, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Seattle, Washington had the fewest obese residents.

Why is the South so heavy? The traditional Southern diet — high in fatty and fried food — may be part of the answer, says the Seattle Times. The South also has a large concentration of rural residents who tend to have higher obesity rates.

“Obesity is becoming more and more prevalent in the U.S., and it’s costing us big time,” said Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst. “In the most overweight and obese cities, residents often lack easy access to healthy food and recreation opportunities, so investing in these areas should help improve people’s diets and exercise regimens and reduce the financial burden.”

Highlighting the survey were key points on how obesity has affected the health of the residents in the fattest cities. McAllen had the highest percentage of obese adults (45%), as well as high rates of diabetes and heart disease. Jackson’s residents had the highest rate of high blood pressure and a near high ranking of people with high cholesterol. Cities with the highest obesity rates also had the most physically inactive adults in the nation, says Study Finds.

Experts are urging the government to enact policies to help battle the obesity epidemic.

“Invest in nutrition education and promoting health eating habits in schools, workplaces, and communities” said Jeffrey Fisher, director of the Allen Foundation Culinary Nutrition Center and associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Central Michigan University. “Bring back the USDA SuperTracker, an interactive food and physical activity tracking tool. Continue collaborating with the food industry on nutritional labeling to empower consumers to make better food choices. Work with the food industry to encourage reformulation of products to include more plant-based foods.”

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
A new survey found that the South is not only known for its fine cuisine, but also home to many of the nation's most overweight and obese people. More than 40% of U.S. adults are obese, costing the country a whopping $190.2 billion annually in medical care treatment and...
obesity, overweight, united states, cities, south, mcallen, texas, jackson, mississippi, shreveport, louisiana
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2024-51-14
Thursday, 14 March 2024 01:51 PM
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