With the election right around the corner, all 50 states are currently sizing each other up, wondering how each one will fit into the Electoral College. They may also wonder how exactly they will fit into their pants as a new list claims to out the fattest states in the union.
The list comes courtesy of WalletHub, who reached its conclusion by using “17 relevant metrics” in three categories -- Obesity & Overweight Prevalence, Unhealthy Habits & Consequences and Food & Fitness – weighing data pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Conference of State Legislatures. The site looked at expected numbers like the percentage of overweight and obese adults, teenagers and children in each state, but also more subjective information like percentage of residents with high cholesterol and number of fitness centers per capita.
After all the number crunching, Mississippi took the heaviest spot, thanks mainly to having the highest prevalence of obesity and overweight residents of any state. Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee rounded out WalletHub’s top five.
Utah was ranked as the slimmest state, followed by Colorado and then New Jersey – especially surprising because I thought New Jersey’s state motto was “Have another slice!” Massachusetts and Hawaii finish off the top five skinniest spots.
Of course, WalletHub isn’t necessarily known as an authority on health topics, so the site’s final rankings are up for debate. But helpfully for nitpickers, the list also includes specific rankings for many of its individual metrics, so if you want to know that Vermont ranked the lowest when it comes to percentage of residents with high cholesterol, it’s there for you.
What’s also important to remember is that though this list may give us some insight into how states stack up against each other, we’re all in this together. We shouldn’t let our weights divide us. We’re the United States – 300 million people who may want to consider going on a diet.