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The U.S. Fat Belt

The states with the highest obesity rates are located in the South and run into the Midwest of the United StatesFor the sixth year in a row, Mississippi leads the U.S. as the state with the highest obesity rate. Survey results indicate that 34.9 percent of state residents – more than one in three individuals - are obese. At the other end of the spectrum: Colorado, with an obesity rate of 20.7 percent. The only change in the configuration of what has become known as the “fat belt” stretching across the south and into the Midwest - is that Indiana is included in this year’s list of the states with obesity rates topping 30 percent while Tennessee dropped off the list thanks to a decline in its obesity rate to 29.2 percent. The fat belt figures are compiled annually by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The states with the highest rates of obesity also generally have high rates of diabetes and the lowest per capita incomes in the U.S. Overall, the lowest rates of obesity - from 20 to 25 percent - are in the northeastern and far western states. A limitation of the findings is that they’re drawn from information on height and weight provided by respondents to a telephone survey.

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