Ten States With The Deadliest Eating Habits

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10. New Mexico
> Grocery Stores Per 1000 Residents: 0.26 (23rd)
> Amount Spent on Fast Food Per Capita: $737 (8th most)
> Gallons of Soft Drinks Purchased Per Capita: 58 (12th least)
> Pounds of Sweet Snacks Purchased Per Capita: 111 (13th least)

New Mexico’s worst rankings occur in two metrics.  It has the 44th greatest percentage of households without a car that are more than ten miles from a supermarket or grocery store and the 44th greatest percentage of population that has low income and is more than ten miles from a supermarket or grocery store, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.  These metrics are significant because they suggest a lack of access to affordable and nutritious food.  Residents may rely on fast food restaurants and convenience stores instead.  New Mexico has the eighth greatest amount of money spent on fast food per capita among all the states considered.

9. Arizona
> Grocery Stores Per 1000 Residents: 0.17 (47th)
> Amount Spent on Fast Food Per Capita: $761 (fourth most)
> Gallons of Soft Drinks Purchased Per Capita: 60 (21st least)
> Pounds of Sweet Snacks Purchased Per Capita: 109 (11th least)

Arizona has the second fewest of grocery stores per person, with only 0.177 for every 1,000 people.  This illustrates a major restriction on healthy food access for one of the country’s fastest growing states.  One of the ways in which residents of Arizona are supplementing their diets is with fast food.  Arizonans spent an average of $760.50 each on fast food in 2007, the fourth greatest amount among the states.

Click the Image for a Larger Graph of Adult Diabetes Rates by State.

8. Ohio

> Grocery Stores Per 1000 Residents: 0.18 (45th)
> Amount Spent on Fast Food Per Capita: $622 (20th least)
> Gallons of Soft Drinks Purchased Per Capita: 70 (11th most)
> Pounds of Sweet Snacks Purchased Per Capita: 122 (10th most)

Because a large part of Ohio’s poor population is located in major urban centers like Cleveland and Cincinnati, the state ranks well in regards to access to grocery stores among the poor. However, the state ranks third-worst in store availability across all income classes at 0.18 locations per 1000 people, compared to 0.6 in first place North Dakota. Ohio’s population has the eleventh-greatest consumption of soft drinks, and the ninth-highest consumption of both sweet snacks and solid fats. As a result of these poor diets, Ohio has an adult diabetes occurrence of over 10%, which is the eleventh worst rate in the country.

7. South Dakota
> Grocery Stores Per 1000 Residents: 0.5 (4th)
> Amount Spent on Fast Food Per Capita: $547 (9th least)
> Gallons of Soft Drinks Purchased Per Capita: 64 (23rd least)
> Pounds of Sweet Snacks Purchased Per Capita: 122 (8th most)

South Dakota is the fifth smallest population in the country, and yet, it is the 17th largest state in terms of geographic area.  As a result, many residents have limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In fact, South Dakota has the greatest percentage of households with no car and which are more than ten miles from a supermarket or grocery store, as well as the greatest percentage of low-income households which are more than ten miles from a supermarket or grocery store.  Only 10.1% of adults in South Dakota consume the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommended 2 or more fruits and 3 or more vegetables per day, compared to the national average of 14%.  This is the fifth worst rate in the nation.

Click Image to See Large Graph of Adult Obesity

6. Nevada
> Grocery Stores Per 1000 Residents: 0.23 (29th)
> Amount Spent on Fast Food Per Capita: $939 (most)
> Gallons of Soft Drinks Purchased Per Capita: 58 (10th least)
> Pounds of Sweet Snacks Purchased Per Capita: 114 (19th least)

Nevada spends the most per capita on fast food – nearly $940 per person per year. This is roughly 25% more than Texas, the second worst state, and well more than twice what Vermont residents spend. As might be expected, the state ranks in the bottom ten for both households with no cars’ and low-income populations’, defined as people with income less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty thresholds, and  proximity to grocery stores. Nevada’s obesity and diabetes rates, are  above average.