Rising obesity rates threaten the health and finances of people worldwide.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease; an increased use of acute medical and long-term care (LTC) services; and an increased rate of disability, and death.

LifeHealthPro.com has run many lists of the fattest states or communities in the country. Here, we use Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to show where the obesity rate increased the most, in terms of percentage points, between 2002 and 2012. BRFSS managers defined participants as obese if the participants had a body mass index over 30.

In the 10 communities listed here, and in an 11th community, Oklahoma City, the percentage of participants who had a body mass index over 30 increased by more than 10 percentage points between 2002 and 2012.

In Oklahoma City, for example, the percentage of people who were classified as obese increased to 32 percent in 2012, from 22 percent just 10 years earlier. 

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Read on for a look at the 10 MSAs in the data with the biggest obesity gains, in terms of percentage points.

Birmingham, Ala. obesity

10. Birmingham-Hoover (Alabama)

 

2012 obesity rate: 34%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 10.5 percentage points

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Image: Birmingham, Ala. (TS photo/Jeremy Edwards) 

New Hampshire obesity

9. Rockingham County-Strafford County (New Hampshire)

 

2012 obesity rate: 27%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 10.7 percentage points

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Oklahoma welcome sign

8. Tulsa (Oklahoma)

 

2012 obesity rate: 32%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 10.8 percentage points

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New Hampshire obesity

7. Concord (New Hampshire)

 

2012 obesity rate: 30%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 10.8 percentage points

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Image: Wikimedia Commons/Matthew Teal 

Akron obesity

6. Akron (Ohio)

 

2012 obesity rate: 30%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 10.9 percentage points

 See also: Diabetes on the decline

Image: Wikimedia Commons/ThreeBlur0

North Carolina obesity

5. Winston-Salem (North Carolina)

 

2012 obesity rate: 29%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 11.5 percentage points

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Huntington obesity

4. Huntington-Ashland (West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio)

 

2012 obesity rate: 35%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 11.9 percentage points

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Image: Wikimedia Commons/Delano Patterson

Milwaukee obesity

3. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis (Wisconsin)

 

2012 obesity rate: 31%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 12.1 percentage points

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 Orlando obesity

2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (Florida)

 

2012 obesity rate: 28%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 12.8 percentage points

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 Baton Rouge obesity

1. Baton Rouge (Louisiana)

 

2012 obesity rate: 36%

Change since 2002, in percentage points: 14.2 percentage points

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