Overweight Now the Norm in Every U.S. State

The majority of residents in all 50 states are either overweight or obese according to measures of Body Mass Index (BMI), data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index show. “This means millions of people are at a high risk for developing — if they haven’t already — costly and deadly chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure,” according to researchers.

Overall, 62.8 percent of American adults are overweight (36.3 percent) or obese (26.2 percent) in 2012, with West Virginia topping the list at 69.3 percent and Colorado having the least-hefty population (55.1 percent overweight or obese).

Nine of the 10 states with the highest overweight and obesity rates are in the South and Midwest, and six are in the South; rates tend to be lowest in the Western states and New England.

“The consequences for states dealing with the very worst rates of being overweight and obese — where nearly seven in 10 adults fall into one of those categories — include lower quality of life, greater financial strain, being less attractive to employers, and a higher probability of raising another generation that faces equally serious weight problems,” according to Gallup.