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Pass the mashed potatoes — Mississippi the fattest state again

fat man holding a measurement tapeDid you think healthy eating habits had changed in the Jackson Metro area or in Mississippi, in general?

Fat chance.

A Gallop Well Being survey listed Mississippi as the fattest state in the nation with 35.4 percent of it’s population listed as obese.

Not to be outdone, Jackson was the ninth-ranked city in America for obesity at 33.9 percent.

Memphis, with an assist from the North Mississippi metro area, was listed as the most obese large city in America with a 31.9 percent rate.

Boulder, Colo., continues to have the lowest obesity rate in the nation, at 12.4 percent. Boulder has had the lowest obesity rate nearly every year since Gallup and Healthways began measuring in 2008, with the exception of 2009. Residents of Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio, were the most likely to be obese in 2012-2013, at 39.5 percent.

These data reflect the state level results for 2013, which found that Mississippi and West Virginia were the most obese states and Montana and Colorado were the least. Three areas in Colorado — Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, and Denver-Aurora — were among the communities with the 10 lowest obesity rates.

Nationwide, the U.S. obesity rate increased to 27.1 percent in 2013, the highest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since tracking began in 2008. Obesity rates have increased in many communities since 2011, including a 3.5-percentage-point uptick in Huntington-Ashland.

Gallup and Healthways track U.S. obesity levels as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, using Americans’ self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. BMI scores of 30 or higher are considered obese.

Gallup interviewed at least 300 adults aged 18 and older in each of 189 MSAs. Each MSA sample is weighted to match the demographic characteristics of that area. Gallup categorizes U.S. metro areas according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s definitions for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

One comment

  1. Ron Arlihause

    Colorado may have some of the lowest obesity rates right now…but just WEIGHT until the munchies kick in from all that legalized pot!

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