Special Report

The States With the Most McDonald's

7. Missouri
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.10
> Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 25.2% (15th highest)
> Median household income: $46,931 (14th lowest)

There are 6.1 McDonald’s restaurants per 100,000 Missouri residents. The frequency of Taco Bells in the state is also more than any other state, and the frequency of Pizza Huts is the sixth-highest. Missouri’s 30.4% obesity rate in 2013 was among the higher rates. As in other states with high numbers of fast food restaurants, Missouri residents reported relatively poor eating habits. Almost 44% of residents reported consuming fruit less than once a day, the 9th highest percentage nationwide. This may be due to relatively poor access to healthy foods, and low incomes. The median household earned an annual $46,921, one of the lowest figures. And about 60% of food programs in Missouri reported an increase in the number of clients in 2014 compared to 2013. Missouri residents also reported poor health outcomes, with a relatively high rate of cardiovascular deaths, 281 per 100,000 residents, the 10th-highest in the nation.

6. Arkansas
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.21
> Obesity rate: 34.6% (3rd highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 28.6% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $40,511 (2nd lowest)

McDonald’s provides famously inexpensive food, and lower-income Arkansas residents may frequent the restaurant and other fast food locations. Arkansas had the second-lowest median household income in the country in 2013, $40,511, and the third-highest poverty rate, 19.2%. There are 6.2 McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents in the state, the sixth-highest concentration in the country. In addition, there are 3.4 Taco Bells and 2.6 KFCs per 100,000 residents — each the second-highest ratios nationwide. About 34.6% of Arkansas residents were obese, the third-highest rate in the nation. Arkansas also has 9.3 Subways per 100,000 residents, one of the higher concentrations in the country. Although a significant portion of Subway ingredients, including bell peppers and tomatoes, are grown at Triple M Farms in Hamburg, Arkansas, relatively high percentages of state residents reported consuming fruit or vegetables less than once a day.

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5. Louisiana
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.30
> Obesity rate: 33.1% (6th highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 32.5% (the highest)
> Median household income: $44,164 (8th lowest)

There are 6.3 McDonald’s restaurants and 4.1 Burger Kings per 100,000 residents in Louisiana, the fifth- and second-highest rates, respectively, in the country. Louisiana had the fourth-highest poverty rate in the country at 19.1% and the eighth-lowest median household income, $44,164. Louisiana also had some of the lowest educational attainment rates in the country in 2013. About 83.1% of residents had at at least a high school diploma, and 22.5% had at least a college degree, each the fourth-lowest rates in the country. The prevalence of fast food restaurants is often representative of poor food landscape, in which residents often do not have easy access to healthy foods. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood of negative health outcomes. About one-third of Louisiana residents were obese, a rate exceeded by only five other states. Further, the state’s residents had among the highest rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, Louisiana’s death rates from heart disease and cancer are among the highest in the country