Special Report

The Most Obese City in Every State


To determine the most obese city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed county-level data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program’s 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report (CHR). We aggregated county-level statistics to metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). Adult obesity is identified in the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or greater for adults 20 years and over. 

The percentage of the adult population that does not have access to exercise venues, the percentage of BRFSS respondents who report fair or poor health, and the percentage of the adult population (20 years and over) diagnosed with diabetes also came from the CHR aggregation. Access to exercise venues is defined as has access to local, state, and national parks, as well as public or private facilities equipped to meet demands for a wide variety of physical exercise, such as pools, gyms, and rehearsal space. All CHR data is for the most recent year available.

The poverty rate and median household income listed for metro areas and states came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey and are one-year estimates.

The obesity rates in the cities identified for Vermont, Mississippi, and Alaska are lower than the state-wide rate. This is possible in states with relatively few metro areas, and where obesity is relatively common in counties outside a state’s metro areas.

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