Approximately 31.6 percent of adults in Georgia are obese, the 24th highest rate in the country, according to recent data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A new report from personal finance website WalletHub ranked the Peach State 14th “fattest” in the country.
For this year’s “Fattest States in the U.S.” ranking, researchers compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: obesity and overweight prevalence; health consequences and food and fitness.
They further evaluated the dimensions using 25 relevant metrics, including share of obese/overweight teens, projected diabetes cases by 2030 and access to healthy food.
Of the 50 states (plus D.C.), Mississippi ranked worst of all, coming in first in obesity and overweight prevalence; second in health consequences and third in food/fitness.
West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee rounded out the five “fattest” states.
- Overall rank: 14
- Obesity and overweight prevalence: 15
- Health consequences: 16
- Food and fitness: 5
- Highest percentage of physically inactive adults: 4
The state’s place at 14th is a jump from its rank last year at No. 17, revealing a rising trend in both childhood and adult obesity.
According to the State of Obesity report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Georgia’s adult obesity rate of 31.6 percent is a significant increase from its rate in 2000 (20.6 percent) and in 1990 (10.1 percent).
Georgia also ranked 12th of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C. in diabetes rates, one of the top obesity-related health issues. The adult obesity rate in Georgia is 11.4 percent, according to 2017 data.
Another serious health issue related to obesity, hypertension, is also cause for concern in the state. With a 33.1 percent adult hypertension rate, Georgia ranks 17th worst in the country.
When it comes to state policies to prevent obesity, Georgia falls behind in several areas. For example, Georgia is one of only 14 states without required middle school physical education.
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