The World Health Organization defines overweight as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more and obesity as a BMI of 30 or more Obese patients are further categorized into class I (BMI 30–34.9), class II (BMI 35–39.9) and class III (BMI 40 or more)( Kaila & Raman, 2008).
Obesity has become a thing of concern in our generation and will likely remain a source of concern in many years to come. About 13% of the world’s adult populations were obese as at 2014 (had BMI≥30Kg/m2) and the proportion of obese individual is fast rising. The comorbidities associated with obesity such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, etc. have remained the leading causes of death worldwide.
The U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and accordingly has high obesity rates; one-third of the population has obesity while another one-third is overweight. The situation is predicted to worsen (Levine, 2011).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data in 2016, more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 and the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight (“Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC,” 2016). This cost of obesity-related medical treatment has now increased to nearly $316 billion annually (Bernardo, 2017).
Differences however exit among states and among cities as regards the statistics of obesity and associated comorbid conditions.
According to WalletHub finding that was released in March 2017, the list of the 100 fattest cities in the US in 2017 in decreasing order are as listed below.
The cities that made the first 10 fattest cities are all in southern part of the US. Jackson is the number one fattest city in the US. It also has the highest number of people with diabetes mellitus (an obesity associated comorbid condition). This city also has the second highest percentage of inactive adult population. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA has the lowest percentage of adults with diabetes.
Although McAllen came 4th on the list, however, it has the highest number of obese adults and the highest percentage of physically inactive adults. Reno NV has the lowest percentage of obese adults, while San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA has the lowest percentage of physically inactive adults.
Mobile AL has the highest percentage of adults with elevated blood pressure while Salt Lake City UT, has the lowest percentage of adults with elevated blood pressure.
- Jackson, MS
- Memphis, TN
- Little Rock, AR
- McAllen, TX
- Shreveport, LA
- Chattanooga, TN
- Mobile, AL
- Lafayette, LA
- Winston, NC
- Knoxville, TN
- Columbia, SC
- Greenville, SC
- Birmingham, AL
- San Antonio, TX
- Louisville, KY
- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Okla. City, OK
- Augusta, GA
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
- El Paso, TX
- Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
- Tulsa, OK
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
- Toledo, OH
- Huntsville, AL
- Greensboro-High Point, NC
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
- Columbus, OH
- Canton-Massillon, OH
- Wichita, KS
- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Lexington-Fayette, KY
- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- New Orleans-Metairie, LA
- Jacksonville, FL
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Richmond, VA
- Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJYoungstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Kansas City, MO-KS
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
Portland-South Portland, ME
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
New Haven-Milford, CT
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
Austin-Round Rock, TX
St. Louis, MO-IL
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Colorado Springs, CO
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
- Kaila, B., & Raman, M. (2008). Obesity: A review of pathogenesis and management strategies. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, 22(1), 61–68.
- Levine, J. A. (2011). Poverty and Obesity in the U.S. Diabetes, 60(11), 2667–2668. http://doi.org/10.2337/db11-1118
- Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC. (2016, September). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- Bernardo, R. (2017, March 22). 2017’s Fattest Cities in America | WalletHub®. Retrieved from https://wallethub.com/edu/fattest-cities-in-america/10532/