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Georgia among America’s most obese states, according to new ranking

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.

» RELATED: Georgia adult, teen obesity rates among worst in America

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.

» RELATED: About 4 in 10 American adults are obese — and it's only getting worse

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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.

» RELATED: One-third of all humans are now overweight — and American children are leading the way

Georgia came in at No. 14. Here’s more on how the state fared:

  • 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.

Explore the full WalletHub ranking at wallethub.com.

According to the State of Obesity report from the Robert Wood Johnson FoundationGeorgia’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).

» RELATED: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows, study says 


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.

More from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Obesity Report.

More from AJC