“Fat” may be the new normal in America.
It certainly seems to be in the Yellowhammer State. Alabama was just ranked the eighth fattest state in the country by personal-finance website WalletHub in their latest study, 2016’s Fattest States in America.
To make matters worse, drawing on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a report from JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than three-quarters of American adults today are either overweight or obese. And for the first time in history, the number of obese people has surpassed that of the overweight.
Not exactly the news you want to hear before entering America’s most gluttonous time of the year, holiday season.
Which is why WalletHub released the study during National Diabetes Awareness Month — to shed light on America’s growing waistline and give Americans a reason to thoughtfully consider their holiday eating and exercise plans.
In the study, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 17 key indicators of weight-related problems across three key dimensions: 1) Obesity & Overweight Prevalence, 2) Unhealthy Habits and Consequences and 3) Food and Fitness. Their data set ranges from “percentage of adults and children who are overweight and obese” to “sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents.”
The fat problem in Alabama (1=Worst; 25=Avg.)
- 5th: percentage of adults who are obese
- 17th: percentage of children who are overweight
- 11th: percentage of children who are obese
- 7th: percentage of residents who are physically inactive
- 1st: percentage of residents with high cholesterol
- 6th: percentage of adults eating less than 1 serving of fruits/vegetables per day
- 3rd: percentage of residents with diabetes
- 3rd: percentage of residents with hypertension
Statistics published by the Physical Activity Council suggest a need for more aggressive efforts to combat the “fat” issue. In 2015, about 81.6 million Americans were completely inactive, which is one of the leading causes of obesity.
Here’s a look at how Alabama compares to the rest of the country:
Although this WalletHub’s report examines the prevalence of obesity, it also evaluated the levels of inactivity and overweight in each state. Given the particularly harmful effects of obesity, they also constructed a separate table below that focuses just on obesity rates to highlight the states in which the problem is most concerning. In its findings, Alabama ranked no.5.