The Most Obese County in Every State

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21. Massachusetts
> Most obese county:
Hampden
> County obesity rate: 28.5%
> Statewide obesity rate: 23.7%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 73.9%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 18.9%

Massachusetts is an especially healthy state and the obesity rate in Hampden County is only slightly higher than the national obesity rate of 27%. Despite being the most obese county in Massachusetts, Hampden’s 28.5% obesity rate is lower than the obesity rate in nearly half of all states. Strong health insurance coverage rates across the state and in Hampden may help encourage more frequent doctor visits and contribute to the lower obesity rate. Just 5% of adults in the area do not have insurance, one of the lowest proportions nationwide.

22. Michigan
> Most obese county:
Saginaw
> County obesity rate: 39.7%
> Statewide obesity rate: 31.4%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 76.1%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 14.9%

Saginaw County’s 39.7% obesity rate is the highest of any Michigan county and among the highest in the United States. Obesity can lead to a variety of other health issues and ultimately lead to a shorter life expectancy. For every 100,000 Saginaw County residents, 8,125 years of potential life are lost to premature death annually, a higher incidence than the 7,218 years of potential life lost per 100,000 Michigan residents and the 6,600 years of potential life lost per 100,000 Americans due to premature death before the age of 75.

23. Minnesota
> Most obese county:
McLeod
> County obesity rate: 33.6%
> Statewide obesity rate: 26.3%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 79.0%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 10.2%

McLeod County’s 33.6% obesity rate is the highest in Minnesota. Unlike most places struggling with obesity, county residents report some of the best health outcomes compared to both the rest of the state and the country. The average resident reports feeling physically and mentally unwell for just 2.4 and 2.6 days per month, respectively, less time than the average Minnesota resident and about a full day less of feeling unwell than the average American.

24. Mississippi
> Most obese county:
Holmes
> County obesity rate: 46.6%
> Statewide obesity rate: 35.3%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 62.4%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 35.6%

With a 47% obesity rate, Holmes is not only the most obese county in Mississippi, but also the most obese county in the United States. Obesity can lead to a number of deadly diseases, and premature death is far more common in Holmes County than it is across the country. Each year, 13,613 years of life are lost before age 75 per 100,000 county residents, more than double the corresponding national rate of 6,600 years of potential life lost per 100,000 Americans.

25. Missouri
> Most obese county:
Caldwell
> County obesity rate: 39.2%
> Statewide obesity rate: 30.6%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 68.0%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 16.0%

The 39.2% obesity rate in the entirely rural Caldwell County is far higher than both the 30.6% statewide obesity rate and the 27.0% national obesity rate. Often, a rural environment can limit access to healthy food and opportunities for exercise. While the 8.0% of county residents have limited access to healthy food, not much worse than the 6.2% statewide figure, just 33.7% of county residents have access to exercise venues — less than half the 76.3% statewide share of Missouri residents with such access.