10 Most & Least Obese States in America

The 2013 Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index was released this week, unveiling the rates of obesity among adults within each of the 50 states for the recent year. According to their research, the national obesity rate (those with a BMI of 30 and greater) has risen from 26.2% in 2012 to 27.1% in 2013. That means around 27 out of every 100 people in the country are not just overweight, but obese — and this percentage is inching eerily closer to a distressing 1 out of 3 with each year.

Individually, states range from just below a 20% rate of obesity to over 35%! Curious where your state weighs in? Check the interactive map here, or consult the top 10 lists below.

10 States with Lowest Rates of Obesity

Montana – 19.6%

Colorado – 20.4%

Nevada – 21.1%

Minnesota – 22%

Massachusetts – 22.2%

Connecticut – 23.2%

New Mexico – 23.5%

California – 23.6%

Hawaii – 23.7%

New York – 24%

California, Montana, Colorado, and Massachusetts have consistently been in the top 10 with the lowest rates since 2008, making them the states with the most consistent low rates of obesity.

10 States with Highest Rates of Obesity

Mississippi – 35.4%

West Virginia – 34.4%

Delaware – 34.3%

Louisiana – 32.7%

Arkansas – 32.3%

South Carolina – 31.4%

Tennessee – 31.3%

Ohio – 30.9%

Kentucky – 30.6%

Oklahoma – 30.5%

Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas have consistently been in the top 10 states with the highest rates of obesity since 2008. Compared to only 5 states the previous year, 11 states now boast an obesity rate of over 30%.

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What is the problem? It may seem obvious, but according to another Gallup poll, Americans are not eating as healthy or exercising as often as in recent years. Produce consumption has dropped, as well as the number of Americans who consider what they ate the day prior to be “healthy.” Increased sugar and processed food consumption are likely culprits as well. As for physical activity, only 54% of Americans, at the peak of good weather in May, exercise at least 30 minutes for 3+ days a week — that’s the mere minimum of only 90 minutes of physical activity weekly. In January 2013, this number fell, as is expected in the dead of winter, to a majority shifting 47.7%.

According to the chief science officer at Healthways (who commissioned the poll), it costs an extra $1,300 a year for an obese person to receive medical care, as compared to a non-obese person, due to increase risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other disease. So, encourage yourself or someone you know and love to become fit and healthy today. Ditch processed foods, eat more greens, get outside and be active! To put it simply, love living life again. Need a little extra motivation? Check out these links…

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Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Amy Ingalls
Amy Ingalls3 years ago

Okay there is a problem here. I live in Massachusetts, the 5th least obese state, and it is still almost 1/4 of the population.

Don Swanz
Don Swanz3 years ago

Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas: it's just got to be the BBQ and the "Gumbo". Don and WE CAN! :-))

Jessica K.
Jessica K3 years ago

Yet it would seem that the states with the lowest obesity rate are still too high. Thanks.

Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Luis Brantuas
Luís Brântuas3 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Barb Hansen
Ba H3 years ago


Edo R.
Edo R3 years ago

Thanks for sharing