The Most Obese County in Every State

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1. Alabama
> Most obese county:
Lowndes
> County obesity rate: 46.4%
> Statewide obesity rate: 33.6%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 69.2%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 31.5%

Lowndes is not only the most obese county in Alabama, but also nearly the most obese county in the United States. The county’s obesity rate of 46.4% is higher than Alabama’s overall obesity rate of 33.6% and much higher than the national obesity rate of 27.0%. Just 1.5% of Lowndes residents have access to recreational opportunities, an extremely small proportion compared with the 62.8% of state residents with access to exercise opportunities, itself one of lowest levels of access compared with other states.

2. Alaska
> Most obese county:
Aleutians West
> County obesity rate: 36.2%
> Statewide obesity rate: 28.4%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 76.1%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 14.0%

Roughly 36% of adults in the Aleutians West area are obese, nearly 8 percentage points greater than Alaska’s obesity rate. In Aleutians West, the high obesity rate is accompanied by a relatively low exercise rate. Only about 76% of area adults report regular physical activity, a smaller share than the approximately 80% of adults statewide who get regular exercise.

3. Arizona
> Most obese county:
Greenlee
> County obesity rate: 33.4%
> Statewide obesity rate: 23.5%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 75.8%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 19.6%

Only 23.5% of Arizona adults are obese, a smaller rate than the national obesity rate of 27%. Not all parts of the state, however, have such a healthy population. In Greenlee, one in every three adults are obese, a larger share than in every other county in the state.

4. Arkansas
> Most obese county:
Phillips
> County obesity rate: 41.5%
> Statewide obesity rate: 33.3%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 62.0%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 32.1%

Just 62.0% of of Phillips County adults exercise regularly, a smaller share than the 68.5% of those statewide who exercise and a much smaller share than the 77.0% of adults who exercise nationwide. This is one factor that may contribute to Phillips County’s 41.5% adult obesity rate, the highest in Arkansas and among the highest in the United States.

5. California
> Most obese county:
Stanislaus
> County obesity rate: 32.4%
> Statewide obesity rate: 22.5%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 81.7%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 20.2%

Nearly one in three adults in Stanislaus County are obese, the largest such share in California. Obesity can lead to a host of negative health outcomes. In Stanislaus, 20% of county adults report being in fair or poor health, compared to only 17% of Californians.