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Weighty Matters

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Weighty Matters

An analysis of weight-related issues in the U.S. finds Southern clusters

We are a heavy nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults and about 17 percent of young people were obese in 2012. That’s not counting folks who are overweight. And the cost of all those extra pounds is second only to that spent on tobacco-related diseases.

By some estimates, Americans spend about $210 billion each year on obesity-related medical treatment. In the workplace, obesity-related health issues yield indirect costs to the worker and employer, most notably in lost wages and reduced productivity from absenteeism. If current obesity trends continue, treatment costs could jump as much as $66 billion a year, with annual productivity losses by up to $580 billion by 2030.

In a nod to National Nutrition Month, WalletHub looked at 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas to identify those where weight-related issues demand heightened attention. Some of their findings:

Top 10 Metro Areas With the Smallest Weight Problems

Provo, Utah
Colorado Springs, Colorado
San Jose, California
Denver
San Francisco
Salt Lake City
Ogden, Utah
Honolulu
Portland, Oregon
Reno, Nevada
Top 10 Metro Areas With the Biggest Weight Problems

New Orleans
Mobile, Alabama
Columbia, South Carolina
El Paso, Texas
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Jackson, Mississippi
Youngstown, Ohio
Shreveport, Louisiana
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Overweight Adults

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm, Beach, Florida
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut
Asheville, North Carolina
Anchorage, Alaska
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Obese Adults

Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama
Memphis, Tennessee
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Physically Inactive Residents

Scranton-Wilkes Barre-Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Knoxville, Tennessee
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio
El Paso, Texas
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Residents With High Cholesterol

Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama
Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater, Florida
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Adults Eating Less than Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables per Day

Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina
Mobile, Alabama
Oklahoma City
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Residents With Diabetes

Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
Memphis, Tennessee
El Paso, Texas
Canton-Massillon, Ohio
Metro Areas With the Highest Percentage of Residents With High Blood Pressure

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
Mobile, Alabama

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BHM Edit Staff