The Top 10 Most and Least Obese States in America

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When I visited Colorado this summer, it seemed that everywhere I went I saw runners, cyclists, hikers and fitness nuts of all kinds. This devotion to exercise is, without doubt in my mind, why Colorado places first on the list of states with the lowest obesity rates. Just 20 percent of people in Colorado are obese, defined in this case as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. (Calculate your body mass index.) Compare that to 34 percent of people in West Virginia, which takes the top spot on the list of states with the highest obesity rate.

cyclist and Colorado aspens 
With only 20.1 percent of the population considered obese, Colorado ranks as the least obese state in the nation. Photo By sportstock/Courtesy Fotolia.

Although the United States’ obesity rate didn’t increase over last year, holding firm at 26 percent of the population, it is still slightly higher than 2008’s rate of 25.5 percent. If you can do simple math, you'll realize that more than one-fourth of the U.S. population is considered obese. Here’s the breakdown of the top ten most and least obese states in the U.S. 

Top Ten States with the Highest Obesity Rates 

1. West Virginia: 34.3 percent
2. Delaware: 33.6 percent
3. Mississippi: 32.1 percent
4. Louisiana: 31.2 percent
5. South Carolina: 30.6 percent
6. Indiana: 30.5 percent
7. North Dakota: 30.2 percent
8. Oklahoma: 30.2 percent
9. Kentucky: 29.9 percent
10. Ohio: 29.0 percent

Top Ten States with the Lowest Obesity Rates 

1. Colorado: 20.1 percent
2. Utah: 21.6 percent
3. Connecticut: 21.7 percent
4. California: 22.1 percent
5. Rhode Island: 22.1 percent
6. Massachusetts: 22.6 percent
7. New Jersey: 22.6 percent
8. Nevada: 23.6 percent
9. Minnesota: 23.8 percent
10. Florida: 24.2 percent 

Researchers predict that, if current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will be obese by 2030, leading to a $66 billion increase in health care costs, 7.8 million new cases of diabetes and 6.8 million new cases coronary heart disease and stroke. 

America’s consolation prize? We no longer make the top 10 list of the world’s most obese nations.