Special Report

States With The Best and Worst Diets

36. North Carolina
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
77.6% (24th highest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 57.7% (14th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 29.4% (25th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (12th highest)

North Carolinians maintain one of the worst diets nationwide. About 28% of state high schoolers drink soda — one of the worst components of a young person’s diet — at least once a day, the ninth highest share of any state. This is despite the fact that North Carolina taxes soda at a higher rate than other food. Also, 42.7% of state students eat fruit less than once a day, the 11th highest share of students with low fruit intake nationwide. Adults in the state do not fare much better. Like their younger counterparts, 57.7% of North Carolina adults eat fruit once daily, one of the lower shares of any state.

ALSO READ: 10 Teams With the Longest Championship Droughts

37. Iowa
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
73.2% (8th lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 60.7% (24th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 31.3% (12th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.2% (15th lowest)

By several measures, diets in Iowa are slightly worse than they are in most other states. For instance, only 73.2% of adults in the state eat at least one serving of vegetables daily. Nationally, 77.6% of adults manage to eat vegetables on a daily basis. One consequence of poor eating habits in the state may be a higher than average obesity rate. While 28.3% of adults are obese nationally, in Iowa, 31.3% do, higher than in all but 11 other states.

38. Missouri
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
75.7% (18th lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 56.9% (12th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.5% (21st highest)

Missouri’s population has one of the worst diets, on average, in the country. This is likely due in large part to food insecurity. About 22% of Missouri households cannot afford quality, healthy food, a larger share than in any other state in the country.

About 15% of high school students in the state are obese, a higher rate among teenagers than in all but seven other states. This is partially the result of a poor diet. Only 55% of Missouri high school students eat fruit every day, well below the corresponding national share of 62.6%.

ALSO READ: Countries With the Best Jobs

39. Texas
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
78.5% (19th highest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 57.3% (13th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 30.9% (15th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (12th highest)

When it comes to diet, Texans are among the least healthy eaters in the country. The obesity rate of 30.9% in the Lone Star State is slightly higher than the national adult obesity rate of 28.3%. Only 47.4% of state high school students consume vegetables daily, the smallest share of any state in the country. Poor diet and poor health outcomes may be due in part to state residents’ inability to afford quality, healthy food. As many as 17.2% of Texas households struggle with food insecurity, the fifth highest share in the country. The state’s poverty rate of 17.2% is also higher than the 15.5% national rate.

40. Georgia
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
76.3% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 56.8% (11th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 30.3% (18th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.3% (7th highest)

Georgia’s population has one of the worst diets, on average, in the country. The problem is particularly bad among Georgia’s youth. Only 56.9% of high school students eat at least one serving of fruit each day, well below the corresponding national share of 62.6%. Poverty and poor diets tend to coincide, at least in part because low incomes make it difficult to eat well and because eating poorly can lead to expensive medical problems down the road. Georgia’s poverty rate of 18.3% is seventh highest in the country and much higher than the national rate of 15.5%.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.