The Most Obese County in Every State

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36. Oklahoma
> Most obese county:
Washita
> County obesity rate: 41.4%
> Statewide obesity rate: 32.4%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 66.2%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 15.7%

Washita County’s rural layout may limit access to healthy food and recreational opportunities, ultimately contributing to worse health outcomes. Just 44.1% of county residents have access to places for physical activity compared to 69.3% of residents statewide. Similarly, 16.0% of residents are low income and live relatively far from a grocery store compared to the 8.9% of Oklahoma residents statewide with limited food access.

37. Oregon
> Most obese county:
Polk
> County obesity rate: 34.0%
> Statewide obesity rate: 26.0%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 82.3%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 13.7%

Polk County’s 34% obesity rate is higher than both Oregon’s 26% obesity rate and the nation’s 27% obesity rate. Unlike most counties with the highest obesity rates, Polk is about as healthy as Oregon overall by many other measures of health and wellness. The premature death rate in the county is lower than both the state and national figures.

38. Pennsylvania
> Most obese county:
Fayette
> County obesity rate: 36.2%
> Statewide obesity rate: 28.8%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 66.0%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 17.9%

No Pennsylvania county has a higher share of obese adults than Fayette County. County residents also report other relatively unhealthy behaviors. Only 66% of county adults regularly exercise, a smaller share than the 74% of adults statewide who do. Similarly, the 22.5% smoking rate in Fayette County is higher than Pennsylvania’s 18.9% smoking rate, which itself is higher than the national smoking rate of 17%.

39. Rhode Island
> Most obese county:
Kent
> County obesity rate: 27.7%
> Statewide obesity rate: 26.4%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 77.3%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 11.8%

Rhode Island is a fairly healthy state. So while Kent County’s 27.7% obesity rate is the highest of any Rhode Island county, it is only slightly higher than the 27.0% national rate. By other measures, Kent County is actually healthier than both the state and the country. Of county adults, 8.8% have diabetes, 14.9% smoke, and 11.8% report fair or poor health — all smaller than the corresponding state and national shares.

40. South Carolina
> Most obese county:
Lee
> County obesity rate: 43.9%
> Statewide obesity rate: 31.6%
> Pct. of adults who exercise regularly: 69.3%
> Share of adults reporting fair or poor health: 26.0%

South Carolina is one of the least healthy states. Not only is Lee County’s 43.9% obesity rate the highest in the state, but it is also the ninth highest of any U.S. county. Relatively low incomes in Lee County may prevent residents from maintaining a healthy diet, the most important aspect in weight management. About 22% of country residents lack a reliable source of healthy food, a higher share than the 17% of South Carolinians who do.