Obesity is common, serious and costly. It’s far more common in some states than in others. Insider Monkey, your source for free insider trading data, compiled official Center for Disease Control (CDC) obesity rates for each state. In 1995, there were 23 states with obesity rates below 15%. The remaining 27 states had obesity rates less than 20%. Just 5 years later, Colorado was the only state with an obesity rate below 15%. Twenty two states had managed to get their obesity rates above the 20% mark.
By 2005, just 10 years after every U. S. state measured an obesity rate at below 20%, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia broke the 30% barrier. In 14 other states, more than one in four residents was obese.
Fast forward to 2009, 9 states registered above the 30% level. Another 24 states were above the 25% mark.
Today, Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in America. But that rate is also creeping up. Alabama’s obesity rate 15 years ago was lower than Colorado’s obesity rate was last year.
There are national factors driving obesity rates higher. Some point to poverty levels as the culprit (See the list of top 10 states with the highest poverty rates). But poverty rates have been declining over the past 25 years, whereas obesity is skyrocketing. As a result, poverty can’t really be a driving cause of obesity in America. Here are the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates in America today”
10. South Dakota: 29.6%
More than 230,000 obese people live in South Dakota
9. Missouri: 30%
More than 1,750,000 obese people live in Missouri.
8. Arkansas: 30.5%
More than 860,000 obese people live in Arkansas.
7. Alabama: 31%
More than 1,430,000 obese people live in Alabama.
6. West Virginia: 31.1%
More than 550,000 obese people live in West Virginia.
5. Oklahoma: 31.4%
More than 1,130,000 obese people live in Oklahoma.
4. Kentucky: 31.5%
More than 1,330,000 obese people live in Kentucky.
3. Tennessee: 32.3%
More than 2,000,000 obese people live in Tennessee.
2. Louisiana: 33%
More than 1,450,000 obese people live in Louisiana.
1. Mississippi: 34.4%
More than 985,000 obese people live in Mississippi.