A heavy statistic: 2 Georgia cities among nation’s most obese

The United States had an obesity problem even before the coronavirus pandemic kept most people at home and out of gyms. In fact, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that Americans are the heaviest group of people in the world.

Being obese can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. It can also affect how well the COVID-19 vaccine works.

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Some cities contribute to the nation’s obesity problem more than others. To identify which cities had the most overweight or obese residents, the financial website WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across three key dimensions: obesity and overweight, health consequences, and food and fitness.

WalletHub then evaluated those dimensions using 19 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100 point scale.

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Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta finished with a so-so ranking of 52, scoring 70.56 overall. In each dimension, the city ranked:

Obesity and overweight: 35

Health consequences: 55

Food and fitness: 84

Georgia’s other city on WalletHub’s list didn’t do as well, however.

August-Richmond County finished No. 13, with an overall score of 79.94. In each dimension, the area ranked:

Obesity and overweight: 29

Health consequences: 10

Food and fitness: 5

Being fifth for food and fitness sounds good, but the metrics include the share of adults with low fruit/vegetable consumption; and limited access to healthy food, among others. So a lower rank, like Atlanta’s 84, is actually better in this dimension.

Augusta had the second-highest percentage of obese adults, the second-highest percentage of diabetic adults, and tied for the fourth-highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure.

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