Special Report

This Is America's Most Obese County

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released its 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps for all 50 states. The numbers are staggering. At least 35% of adults have obesity in 16 states, mostly in the South and Midwest.

The most obese county is America is Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. Here are the details:

> Adult obesity rate: 58.9%
> Adults who do not exercise: 42.4% (15th highest)
> Adults with diabetes: 15.3% (622nd highest)
> Adults reporting poor or fair health: 28.4% (182nd highest)

The cost of obesity to the U.S. economy is also staggering. According to another CDC study: “Obesity-related medical care costs in the United States, in 2008 dollars, were an estimated $147 billion.”

Obesity status is determined by body mass index, a measure based on body weight and height. Americans with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese and therefore at greater risk of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, breathing problems, certain cancers, and mortality, according to the CDC. Obesity also can detract from overall quality of life and contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Though many factors, including genetics, diet, and medical conditions, contribute to increased risk of obesity, regular physical activity is one of the best ways to help maintain a healthy weight. (There are many misconceptions about obesity, some listed here: everything you know about obesity is wrong.)

Using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, 24/7 Tempo identified the most obese county in the United States (out of more than 3,000). Okfuskee County has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, and in many counties on the list, over half of the adult population is obese. (These are America’s most obese metros.)

Click here to see America’s most obese counties
Click here to see our detailed methodology