Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Obesity is measured as a function of the body mass index, a ratio of height to weight. A person with a body mass of 30 or greater — weighing at least 203 pounds and standing at five feet and nine inches, for example — qualifies as obese. Obesity can increase the risk of a number of serious and often deadly diseases and conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28.3% of Americans age 18 and older are obese. Obesity is a complex health concern with a wide range of causes that can include community and environment. Partially as a result, obesity rates can range considerably from one state to the next and even between counties of the same state.
In Colorado, just 21.3% of adults are obese, the smallest share of any state in the country. Even in Colorado’s most overweight county, the obesity rate of 27.6% is below the national obesity rate. On the other end of the spectrum, in Mississippi — a state with a nation-leading 35.1% obesity rate — the adult obesity rate is nearly 50% in some counties.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed county-level health data from the CDC to identify the most obese county in every state.