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article imageWhere are the 'fattest cities' in the U.S.? New study

By Tim Sandle     Apr 3, 2019 in Health
The U.S., like many high-income countries, has a problem with its population’s expanding waistlines. However, the variations in weight are not evenly distributed and some cities have populations heavier (and less healthy) than others.
The new data has been compiled by the personal finance site WalletHub, to mark U.S. National Nutrition Month (March 2019). The results are also of interest in the context of the rise in spending in the U.S. on obesity-related medical treatment (which runs into hundreds of billions of dollars).
The new WalletHub report is titled “2019's Fattest Cities in America”, and it draws in the one hundred most highly populated U.S. metropolitan areas. These cities were compared against nineteen key metrics.
Included in the data set are the proportion of adults classed as obese and the numbers of overweight children, and the projected obesity rates that will impact upon each city in 2030. There are different definitions of obesity and predicted obesity. Generally, men with a waist circumference of 94 centimetres (37 inches) or more and women with a waist circumference of 80 centimetres (about 31.5 inches) or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.
In terms of the ‘Fattest Cities in America’, the top ten are:
1 McAllen, TX
2 Shreveport, LA
3 Memphis, TN
4 Jackson, MS
5 Mobile, AL
6 Tulsa, OK
7 Knoxville, TN
8 Toledo, OH
9 Baton Rouge, LA
10 Augusta, GA
Bubbling under, the next ten are: Lafayette, LA; Oklahoma City, OK; Little Rock, AR; Columbia, SC; New Orleans, LA; Chattanooga, TN; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Myrtle Beach, SC.
Some of the key findings are outlined in the following video:
Across the one hundred cities there are some interesting patterns and differences. McAllen in Texas recorded the highest share of obese adults at 45 percent. This was 2.5 times greater than in San Francisco, which has the lowest level of obese adults at 18 percent.
It also stands that McAllen has the highest share of physically inactive adults at 37 percent. This was 2.3 times higher than Raleigh, North Carolina, which has the lowest share of physically inactive adults at 16 percent.
With measures of obesity related ill-health, El Paso in Texas has the highest share of diabetic adults at 15 percent (with San Francisco and Minneapolis recording the lowest levels at 6 percent). In relation to this, Mobile, Alabama has the highest share of adults with high blood pressure (41 percent) compared with San Jose, California, the area with the lowest rates at 21 percent.
Commenting on the findings, Diane Gilbert-Diamond Associate Professor at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College said that while people should seek to lose weight, often mistakes are made which hamper diet plan. She advises: “Some people set really high goals for healthy eating and exercise and then feel discouraged when they can’t meet or sustain those goals. People should feel encouraged that even small increases in exercise and healthy eating can improve health.”
She adds: “Individuals can also be tempted by fad diets that promise fast results. Most people cannot successfully lose weight and keep it off with these diets. Seek sound nutrition advice from your doctor or sources like Harvard’s nutrition source for a sustainable healthy diet.”
More about Obesity, Fat, Fattest, Weight, Health
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