It would appear that lots of snow, generally speaking, reduces obesity in America.
The folks at Gallup have just come out with the annual U.S. obesity index. Gallup surveyed people in every state, and produced a list of states ranked by the percent of residents who self-report their height and weight. That allows Gallup to do a body mass calculation, which leads to the ranking.
The nation’s overall obesity continues to increase, Gallup said, with the national obesity rate rising from 27.1 percent in 2014 to 27.7 percent this year.
According to the study, there are nearly twice as many obese people in Mississippi, America’s fattest state, as there are in Hawaii, the leanest. Furthermore, seven of the 10 states with the highest percentage of obese residents are below the Mason Dixon line, while eight of 10 of the states with the lowest obesity rates experience heavy snowfall.
“Obesity rates continue to be highest in Southern and Midwestern states and lowest in Western and Northeastern states, a pattern that has persisted since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the obesity rate in 2008,” Gallup reported.
So, if you want to lose weight, maybe moving to somewhere that involves shoveling snow might work better than a diet in the heat.
Being overweight isn’t just a health factor; it can affect one’s overall attitude toward life. Gallup and its Healthways partner have devised a “well-being index” that attempts to define how good people feel about themselves. Obese people fare worse on the key components of this index — life purpose, social well-being, financial well-being and community well-being — than those who are not obese.
With that to chew on, let’s proceed to the top 10 most obese U.S. states. (Check out the 10 slimmest states in America here.)
Obesity rate: 30.9 percent
Residents in states with a high obesity rate, Gallup says, are less likely to eat healthily and exercise, and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, cancer and heart attacks.
Obesity rate: 31.1 percent
According to Gallup, 29.3 percent of those who are obese are more likely to be suffering in purpose well-being than those who are not obese.
Obesity rate: 31.4 percent
Obesity rate: 31.5 percent
Gallup says that adults who are obese are 33.7 percent more likely to be suffering in financial well-being than those who are not obese.