Fattest States Report: I Escaped the Midwest Just in Time


fattest states in the u.s.A new report from the CDC tells Americans something we already know: we're tubby. In fact, almost 70 percent of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. Holy crap, 70 percent!!! That's almost all of us. Take a look at ten people around you, are seven of them obese? Not around me, but I'm in California, which apparently isn't on the top of the list of the fattest states in America. 

What are the states with the largest people in America? Those in the South, of course. And a couple in the Midwest. Go figure.


In order, the 10 fattest states in the union, are:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. Tennessee
  4. Kentucky
  5. Oklahoma
  6. West Virginia
  7. Alabama
  8. Arkansas
  9. Missouri
  10. Michigan & South Dakota -- tied for last

So what are all of these people eating down south and in the middle? Just one look at my family cookbook will tell you everything you need to know. A vegetable doesn't exist in that book that isn't fried or covered in cheese. The rest is all pies, cakes, and lots of recipes that include the ingredient of "shortening." Yum. And, that'll make you fat. My family proudly hails from three of the fattest states on the list: Oklahoma, Louisiana, and West Virginia. Where they like their grease.

Of course, a lot of these states are also some of the poorest, and we all know that poverty begets obesity. Sushi is expensive. So if you're choosing between KFC's .99-cent menu and a $10 lunch, you're not heading to the Japanese restaurant when you're counting your pennies. That is, if you even have healthy options to choose from in your area. Many of these states also have a large rural population, where fresh, healthy foods are scarce. Additionally, if you're surrounded by unhealthy people, you're more likely to be unhealthy as well. Living in one of these fat states could be harming your diet.

Do you live in a fat state?


Image via shawnzrossi/Flickr


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xavie... xavierlogan09

i just recently moved to missouri. my entire family is obese. somehow i managed to be thin. everyone i know is overweight. it doesn't surprise me that 70% of people over 20 are overweight.

yayhe... yayheadstart

Yep. Born and raised in Arkansas. We used to be higher up on the list, so at least we are improving a little. But yes, we are also the second poorest state and it is proven those two go hand in hand.

ajk808 ajk808

I'm from Kentucky. I hate that Kentucky tops all the worst lists in America. Obesity, cancer, infant deaths, just to name a few. But, like you said, KY is a relatively poor state and has a pretty large rural population. But, the largest cities in the state also have a problem with access to healthy foods in urban areas as well. At least in Louisville (KY's largest city), there has been a large push from the government to solve the food desert problem, and allow people in urban areas access to fresh foods. But if you are a single mother of 4 struggling to get by, I'm sure that isn't a priority. And that's a lot of the problem. Eating healthy doesn't take priority over eating period. And now that food prices are rising, it's making it even harder. Of course, diet isn't the only change one must make to get healthy. And, again, when one is just trying to make ends meet, there normally isn't time to walk a mile. But the reality is, when the median income is one of the lowest in the country, health often suffers for a variety of reasons: lack of access to healthcare, poor diet due to high food prices and lack of access to healthy foods, lack of exercise, and lack of access to information regarding health.

karis... karischub

I grew up in Michigan and now live in North Carolina. We seem to have just as many heavy people here as we did up north. We really need a more active lifestyle in our country...

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

We lived in Oklahoma from July until the end of November. (Husband is military, so we bounce around.)  We both noticed how people seemed to be much bigger there.  I think it's all the good barbeque they have.

Rachel S. Fortner

TN here. Grocery options are few in my area.. the produce dept is so sad. It IS hard to eat healthy when there are so very few fresh fruit, veg, and even lean meat options available.

lovin... lovinangels

It is actually much, much, much less expensive to eat healthy whole foods that fattening foods. It's unfortunate that so much of America buys into this thought process, but it would be better if bloggers didn't do it. You all have a voice that is larger than the rest of us, and the bottom line is I can take that same ten dollars and make three days worth of fresh, low calorie vegetable soup and whole grain bread to go with it.


lovin... lovinangels

April, I'd love for you to check out the cafemom group "Healthy Home, Happy Budget." it's a slower group, but there are a lot of well written guides on how to eat extremely healthy when you are broke.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Originally a Ne girl now a SD girl. It is more expensive to eat healthy. I did my calculations long ago, fresh veggies and fruit are more expensive than canned or bagged. We try here, my hubby is a runner so he does well, me? I have let myself go but I am in the process of making changes so my kids have someone to have as a role model instead of someone famous which is not realistic. We talk about obesity at work and we are surprised what obese looks like, it doesn't look like what you think. A size 12 girl does not look obese to me. Chubby but not obese...

sassy... sassykat122

Moved to Mississippi last year from Oregon and it definetly seems like there are many, many  more large and obese people out here. Everything seems bigger out here though, from the storms to the insects and yes the people as well, like everythings being fed a southern dose of extra large.

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