According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Colorado residents were the least likely in the nation to be obese in 2012—as has been the case since 2010—making it the only state where less than 20% of adults are obese. West Virginia—also for a third year in a row—is the state with the highest obesity rate, at 33.5%.
The national obesity rate remained steady at 26.2% in 2012, compared with 26.1% in 2011, but is still higher than the 2008 average of 25.5%. Across states, obesity rates were statistically unchanged in 2012 when compared with 2011, with the exception of four states. Obesity rates increased in New Jersey, Georgia, and North Carolina, while obesity rates in Delaware decreased. Obesity rates continue to be highest in Southern and Midwestern states and lowest in Western and Northeastern states.
Nationwide and across states, obesity rates remained relatively unchanged in 2012, but are still generally higher than they were in 2008. More than two in 10 adults are obese in all but one U.S. state, Colorado, as has been the case for the past few years. And in five U.S. states—West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama—more than three in 10 adults are obese. Similarly, high blood pressure and diabetes rates are, for the most part, static across states.
Obesity is now one of Americans’ top health concerns—surpassing smoking and alcohol—with nearly four in 10 Americans saying it is an extremely serious problem to society.