Americans are still gaining weight, with the average rate of obesity rising to 27.1% from 25.5% in 2008. At the same time, there is considerable variation among the states, a new analysis from Gallup shows.
In 2013, the most obese state in the country was Mississippi, where 35.4% of residents were obese. Mississippi inched ahead of West Virginia, which had the highest rate of obesity between 2010 and 2012.
The least obese state was Montana, where 19.6% of residents were obese. Between 2010 and 2012, the least obese state was Colorado, which still has the second-lowest rate of obesity (20.4%).
Gallup also found that the rates of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes were higher in the states where obesity was more prevalent. People in the least obese states, meanwhile, were more likely to report healthy eating and exercise habits.
Despite Gallup’s discouraging report, recent news has suggested that obesity among very young children is declining. “Efforts to curb childhood obesity in America may positively affect adult obesity rates across all states in the years ahead,” Jenna Levy noted in the Gallup analysis.
Here are the states that had the highest and lowest rates of obesity:
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