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Flu season is here and already raging. Did you get your flu shot yet? If not, you might want to do so immediately. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning of “very high” in seven states and “high” rates of influenza cases in at least 18 more.

The Hill reports that there are seven states the CDC is  particularly concerned about: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia. That’s because they’re described as having “very high” levels of flu activity.

Health officials estimate there have been between two-point-eight million and six-point-six million flu cases from early October through early November. In that same period, they’ve also estimated between 13-hundred and 36-hundred deaths. According to the CDC, flu activity levels haven’t been this high this early since the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

Bad News, North Carolina Is One Of The Fattest States In The US

Being overweight is becoming the new normal in America. And if you say that it’s quickly referred to as “fat-shaming”. I’m not here to tell you to lose weight. I’m not here to tell you you’re fat or skinny. Those are all conversations to have with your doctor. But I am here to tell you the facts. And, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 percent of U.S. adults (20+) are either classified as overweight or obese. While still lower, rates for children and adolescents are also on the rise. Why should you care? Well, obesity costs our healthcare system $173 billion per year according to the CDC. And a recent study by WalletHub ranked North Carolina as one of the fattest states.

What is causing this? One main issue is a lack of physical activity. Other factors include genetics, emotional instability, and sleeplessness. To determine where obesity and overweight most dangerously persist, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key metrics. This data set ranges from the share of obese and overweight population to sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents to obesity-related health care costs. And, well it’s bad news for North Carolina as we find ourselves ranking as one of the fattest states, near the top of these rankings.

Keep reading to see the most overweight and obese states followed by the 10 least overweight and obese states. You can view the full WalletHub study here.

 

  • Most Overweight & Obese States

  • 1. West Virginia

    West Virginia

    Total Score: 74.60

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 1

    Health Consequences: 1

    Food & Fitness: 9

  • 2. Mississippi

    Mississippi

    Total Score: 72.33

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 2

    Health Consequences: 10

    Food & Fitness: 1

  • 3. Kentucky

    Kentucky

    Total Score: 68.99

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 4

    Health Consequences: 8

    Food & Fitness: 5

  • 4. Arkansas

    Arkansas

    Total Score: 68.95

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 3

    Health Consequences: 17

    Food & Fitness: 6

  • 5. Alabama

    Alabama

    Total Score: 68.63

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 5

    Health Consequences: 11

    Food & Fitness: 3

  • 6. Tennessee

    Tennessee

    Total Score: 67.46

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 6

    Health Consequences: 12

    Food & Fitness: 10

  • 7. Louisiana

    Louisiana

    Total Score: 65.66

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 7

    Health Consequences: 26

    Food & Fitness: 4

  • 8. Delaware

    Delaware

    Total Score: 63.99

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 7

    Health Consequences: 26

    Food & Fitness: 4

  • 9. Oklahoma

    Oklahoma

    Total Score: 63.71

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 8

    Health Consequences: 32

    Food & Fitness: 15

  • 10. South Carolina

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    Total Score: 63.43

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 10

    Health Consequences: 22

    Food & Fitness: 2

  • 11. Georgia

    Georgia

    Total Score: 62.27

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 11

    Health Consequences: 28

    Food & Fitness: 8

  • 12. Texas

    Texas

    Total Score: 62.08

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 9

    Health Consequences: 34

    Food & Fitness: 13

  • 13. Ohio

    Ohio

    Total Score: 61.99

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 13

    Health Consequences: 18

    Food & Fitness: 14

  • 14. Missouri

    Kansas City MO

    Total Score: 61.51

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 12

    Health Consequences: 23

    Food & Fitness: 17

  • 15. North Carolina

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    Total Score: 60.13

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 16

    Health Consequences: 21

    Food & Fitness: 18

  • Least Overweight & Obese States

  • 51. Colorado

    Colorado Springs

    Total Score: 43.23

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 51

    Health Consequences: 48

    Food & Fitness: 19

  • 50. Utah

    Utah

    Total Score: 43.47

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 49

    Health Consequences: 50

    Food & Fitness: 34

  • 49. District of Columbia

    DC

    Total Score: 44.28

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 50

    Health Consequences: 44

    Food & Fitness: 31

  • 48. Massachusetts

    Boston

    Total Score: 45.90

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 47

    Health Consequences: 45

    Food & Fitness: 51

  • 47. Hawaii

    Honolulu

    Total Score: 47.00

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 44

    Health Consequences: 51

    Food & Fitness: 41

  • 46. Minnesota

    Minnesota

    Total Score: 48.27

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 45

    Health Consequences: 42

    Food & Fitness: 39

  • 45. California

    California

    Total Score: 49.97

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 38

    Health Consequences: 49

    Food & Fitness: 26

  • 44. New York

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    Total Score: 50.93

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 43

    Health Consequences: 38

    Food & Fitness: 27

  • 43. Arizona

    Chandler AZ

    Total Score: 51.12

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 35

    Health Consequences: 47

    Food & Fitness: 25

  • 42. Washington

    Seattle

    Total Score: 51.17

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence: 37

    Health Consequences: 35

    Food & Fitness: 43

  • Methodology

    In order to determine the most overweight and obese states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Obesity & Overweight Prevalence, 2) Health Consequences and 3) Food & Fitness.

    We evaluated those dimensions using 31 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most overweight state. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we calculated the population size using the square root of the population in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states.

    Finally, we determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.

    Obesity & Overweight Prevalence – Total Points: 60

    • Share of Overweight Adults: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
    • Share of Obese Adults: Double Weight (~12.00 Points)
    • Share of Overweight Teenagers: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
      Note: “Teenagers” includes the population aged 14 to 18.
    • Share of Obese Teenagers: Double Weight (~12.00 Points)
      Note: “Teenagers” includes the population aged 14 to 18.
    • Share of Overweight Children: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
      Note: “Children” includes the population aged 10 to 17.
    • Share of Obese Children: Double Weight (~12.00 Points)
      Note: “Children” includes the population aged 10 to 17.
    • Projected Obesity Rate in 2030: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

    Health Consequences – Total Points: 25

    • Share of Adults with High Cholesterol: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Share of Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Projected Diabetes Cases by 2030: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Projected Obesity-Related Cancer Cases in 2030: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Share of Adults with Hypertension: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Heart Disease Rate: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Projected Coronary Heart Disease & Stroke Cases by 2030: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Obesity-Related Death Rate: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
    • Obesity-Related Health Care Costs: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
      Note: This metric measures the annual incremental health care costs attributable to obesity per 100,000 adults, as calculated by Gallup, which estimates per-person cost at $1,573.
    • Projected Obesity-Related Care Cost Increase by 2030: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    • Level of Expanded Health Insurance Coverage for Nutritional Counseling: Half Weight (~1.00 Points)
      Note: This metric measures whether Nutritional Counseling is covered, partially covered or not covered at all by health insurance in every state.
    • Presence of DNPAO Funding for Obesity-Related Programs: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
      Note: This binary metric the presence or absence of DNPAO (Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity) funding for obesity-related programs in every state.

    Food & Fitness – Total Points: 15

    • Share of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Adolescents: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Share of Secondary Schools that Ban Students from Purchasing Soda or Fruit Drinks: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Fast-Food Restaurants per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Healthy-Food Access: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
      Note: This metric measures the share of census tracts that have at least one healthier food retailer located within the tract or within 0.5 miles of tract boundaries.
    • Health Educators and Community Health Workers per Capita: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
      Note: Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.
    • Share of Middle and High Schools Offering Salad Bars: Half Weight (~0.65 Points)
      Note: This indicator represents the share of middle and high schools that offer a self-serve salad bar.
    • Comprehensiveness of School Nutrition Policies: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
      Note: This metrics measures the degree of comprehensiveness of School Nutrition Policies by state.
    • 1 – Comprehensive
    • 0.6 – Moderate
    • 0.3 – Low
    • 0 – No Coverage
    • Comprehensiveness of School Physical Activity Policies: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
      Note: This metrics measures the degree of comprehensiveness of School Physical Activity Policies by state.
    • 1 – Comprehensive
    • 0.5 – Moderate
    • 0 – Low
    • Share of Physically Inactive Adults: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Share of Physically Inactive Children and Teenagers Aged 6-17: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
    • Fitness Centers per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)

    Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Trust for America’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gallup, Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health, National Conference of State Legislatures, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.