The Most Fattest and Thinnest City of US Has Been Revealed, Study Finds

A new Gallup-Healthways poll says that at least 15% of people living in 187 of the 190 metro areas polled are obese. This means that our cities seem to be fat. Boulder, Colorado, was the skinnytest city, with only 12.1% of its residents being obese. In McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, the number of obese people rose to 38.8%, making it the fattest metro area. Gallup polled people in all 50 U.S. states in 2011 and found that Colorado had the lightest people.

Boulder, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., and Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo. were the only three Big Cities with obesity numbers at or below 15%. There should be 15% less obesity in the United States by 2025, but these places are the only ones that will reach that goal.

More than 350,000 American people were polled between January 2 and December 29, 2011, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The participants’ height and weight were used to find their body mass index (BMI), which is a way to measure how fat someone is. A BMI of 30 or more means a person is fat. A lady who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 174 pounds or more or a man who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 209 pounds or more would have a BMI of 30.

The metropolitan data areas from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget are used to make the metro areas. These areas often include more than one city. The statistical area that includes San Jose, California, also includes the smaller towns of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, which are close by.

America’s Fattest Cities

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 38.8 percent
  • Binghamton, N.Y.: 37.6
  • Huntington-Ashland, W. Va., Ky., Ohio: 36.0
  • Rockford, Ill.: 35.5
  • Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 33.8
  • Charleston, W. Va.: 33.8
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.: 33.5
  • Topeka, Kans.: 33.3
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash.: 33.2
  • Reading, Penn.: 32.7

America’s Thinnest Cities

  • Boulder, Colo.: 12.1 percent
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.: 14.5
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.: 14.6
  • Barnstable Town, Mass.: 15.9
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.: 16.4
  • Naples-Marco Island, Fla.: 16.5
  • Trenton-Ewing, N.J.: 16.8
  • Provo-Orem, Utah: 17.1
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.: 17.4
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.: 17.5

In 2011, the average obesity rate in the United States stayed the same at about 26%. The average for the 10 most obese metro areas was 34.8 %, while the average for the least obese metro areas was 15.9 %.

Gallup and Healthways looked at 190 cities in 2011 and found that the rate of adult obesity was more than 15% in all but three of them. Three-eighths of people who lived in McAllen, Edinburgh, and Mission, Texas, were obese. On the other hand, only 12.1% of people who lived in Boulder, Colorado, were fat.

Also Read: This Surprising U.S. City Has the Most Aggressive Drivers

Living in the 10 heaviest areas made people much more likely to report having a chronic disease at some point in their lives, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or depression. This supports a lot of research that links obesity to a long list of health problems. To give you an example, Gallup found that people who lived in the cities with the highest rates of obesity were 70% more likely to have diabetes, 58% more likely to have had a heart attack, 30% more likely to have been diagnosed with depression, and 23% more likely to have high cholesterol.

Obesity is not only bad for the person who has it, but it can also be expensive for Americans. The National Institutes of Health say that the extra health care costs for a fat person are $1,429 per year on average. Gallup thinks that Americans pay about $1 billion more a year in health care costs in the 10 major areas with the highest obesity rates than they would if the obesity rate in those states was 15%.

Because so many people in the McAllen, Edinburgh, and Mission metro area are overweight or obese, the area spends more than $400 million a year on health care that is not needed. Gallup says that the area could save more than $250 million a year if it could lower the rate of fat to 15%.

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