Here Are America’s Fattest Cities, Ranked

You don’t require a continental-size scale to recognize that America is one of the world’s heaviest countries. You only need to drive down any mainstream thoroughfare or visit any friendly neighborhood grocery to see the writing on the wall — meals are supersized and processed for every occasion. Though there a number of tiny nations that top a list of overweight countries in terms of percentage of population, the United States is the most populous nation on the leaderboard, with an estimated 35% of its people obese or overweight.

With this in mind, the personal finance website WalletHub decided to analyze where exactly all that excess weight resides and which U.S. metro areas appear to be doing little in the way of helping stem the tide of obesity. Analysts for the site examined population data from the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, comparing them across a total of 17 different metrics, ultimately rating each in three major categories: obese and overweight population, health problems based on weight, and healthy environments. Some of the metrics used to evaluate the cities include data such as the share of overweight people in the population, the portion of people with high cholesterol, the proximity to parks and recreational activities, access to healthy food, and more. Because of a lack of data, some of the metro areas were measured using overall state information. Information sources included the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Agriculture, the Trust for America’s Health, and other WalletHub proprietary research.

People in some cities are heavier than other cities. (Photo: Getty Images)
The survey ranks the cities with the heaviest residents. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of the glaring results of the study points to the South — 19 of the top 20 overweight metro areas are below the Mason-Dixon Line. “Several southern metro areas have some of the highest obesity and overweight rates in the country, which snowball into some alarming health issues like heart disease, diabetes and shorter life expectancy overall,” Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub data analyst, told Yahoo Beauty in an email. “Many of these same areas fail to offer their residents healthy environments, like limiting food deserts, and amenities that would facilitate a more active lifestyle.” Perhaps more studies like this can help home in on where and how these issues can be addressed.

Full List of Cities (From Most to Least Overweight)

Source: WalletHub

  1. Jackson, MS

  2. Memphis, TN-MS-AR

  3. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR

  4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

  5. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

  6. Chattanooga, TN-GA

  7. Mobile, AL

  8. Lafayette, LA

  9. Winston-Salem, NC

  10. Knoxville, TN

  11. Columbia, SC

  12. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC

  13. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

  14. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

  15. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

  16. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC

  17. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

  18. Oklahoma City, OK

  19. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC

  20. Baton Rouge, LA

  21. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

  22. El Paso, TX

  23. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

  24. Tulsa, OK

  25. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

  26. Toledo, OH

  27. Huntsville, AL

  28. Greensboro-High Point, NC

  29. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

  30. Columbus, OH

  31. Canton-Massillon, OH

  32. Wichita, KS

  33. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

  34. Lexington-Fayette, KY

  35. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO

  36. Fort Wayne, IN

  37. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

  38. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

  39. Jacksonville, FL

  40. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

  41. Richmond, VA

  42. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ

  43. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

  44. Asheville, NC

  45. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

  46. Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA

  47. Dayton, OH

  48. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  49. Worcester, MA-CT

  50. Raleigh, NC

  51. Kansas City, MO-KS

  52. Albuquerque, NM

  53. Akron, OH

  54. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

  55. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

  56. Springfield, MA

  57. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

  58. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

  59. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

  60. Portland-South Portland, ME

  61. Anchorage, AK

  62. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

  63. Manchester-Nashua, NH

  64. Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA

  65. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

  66. New Haven-Milford, CT

  67. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

  68. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

  69. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

  70. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

  71. Austin-Round Rock, TX

  72. St. Louis, MO-IL

  73. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

  74. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

  75. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

  76. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

  77. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

  78. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

  79. Tucson, AZ

  80. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

  81. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

  82. Pittsburgh, PA

  83. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

  84. Salt Lake City, UT

  85. Provo-Orem, UT

  86. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  87. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

  88. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

  89. Reno, NV

  90. Boise, ID

  91. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA

  92. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

  93. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

  94. Honolulu, HI

  95. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  96. Colorado Springs, CO

  97. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

  98. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

  99. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

  100. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

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