Tennessee has either gone on a diet or been out-weighed, so to speak, by other tubby states, according to a new study by WalletHub, a personal finance company that produces a broad range of surveys.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., across 19 metrics, including the percentage of overweight and obese children and adults, obesity-related health care costs, the prevalence of high blood pressure and type- 2 diabetes, and sugary-beverage consumption.
This year they found Tennessee ranked fifth among the fattest states, down two spots from our third place position last year behind Mississippi and West Virginia.
This year, Kentucky and Arkansas gained the third and fourth place spots, dropping us to number 5.
Utah, Colorado and Hawaii ranked as the least obese states in the study this year, with Hawaii beating out Massachusetts.
Tennessee cities still rank among nation’s fattest
But, Tennessee isn’t quite fit to brag yet. A March 2018 study ranking cities on the same factors had each of the state’s major metropolitan areas in the top 20: Memphis in fourth place, Knoxville in sixth, Chattanooga in 12th and Nashville in 16th.
The Centers for Disease Control said in 2016 that more than seven in 10 American adults over age 20 were either overweight or obese, and while the rate is lower for kids, childhood and adolescent obesity is still on the rise.
A tendency toward couch-potatoing might be a contributing factor: A Physical Activity Council report said that nearly 81.5 million Americans over the age of six were not physically active in 2016.
The WalletHub study, which noted November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, said that Tennessee ranks third in the percentage of adults with high cholesterol and fourth in the percentage of overweight children.
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