Weighing scale with high-calorie food items
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2020's Most Overweight & Obese States in America

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Weighing scale with high-calorie food items
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Weighting Around

Maybe it's because the coronavirus has forced us to spend so much time cooped up indoors, or because gyms and fitness programs were shuttered. We also may be doing a lot more comfort eating. Whatever the cause (and likely it's a combination), it seems fat is becoming part of the new normal. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that more than seven in 10 U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. The problem is more severe in some states than others; WalletHub recently compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia against a variety of metrics to rank the most and least obese and overweight states in the country — listed here from leanest to heaviest.

Related: How Unhealthy Was Your State When the Coronavirus Hit?

Denver
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Least Overweight and Obese: Colorado

Colorado also leads the nation in the lowest percentage of physically inactive adults and is a leader in minimizing childhood obesity. The Centennial State ranks second in the nation for having the lowest percentage of obese children.

Related: The Biggest Health Hazards Facing Your Kids Today

Best for Active Lifestyles: Washington, D.C.
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50. District of Columbia

The nation's capital has the lowest percentage of obese adults, a demographic for which it comes in second behind Colorado.

Related: 14 Weight-Loss Tips for Seniors

Utah
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49. Utah

Utah is among the leaders in the struggle against childhood obesity, with the third-lowest percentage of obese children in the nation. It's also among the five states with the lowest percentage of physically inactive adults, and among the top five states with the lowest percentage of adults who have Type 2 diabetes.

Related: 10 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Hawaii
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48. Hawaii

The Aloha State has the lowest percentage of childhood obesity of any state, followed by Colorado, Utah, Montana, Kansas, and Alaska.

Billings, Montana
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47. Montana

Montana is among the top 10 for states with the lowest percentage of obese children and among the five boasting the lowest percentage of adults with high cholesterol. It also scores among the best in the nation for lowest percentage of adults with Type 2 diabetes.

Related: 15 Free Ways to Protect Your Heart

Massachusetts
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46. Massachusetts

Adults here take good care of themselves. Not only does the state rank among national leaders for lowest percentage of obese adults, but WalletHub finds Bay State adults have little trouble consuming more than one serving daily of fruits and vegetables. Pass the spinach, broccoli, and kale please.

Related: 16 Superfoods to Help You Eat Healthy

Portland, Oregon
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Duluth Minnesota
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Boise, Idaho
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New York
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42. New York

New York also did not earn any unique distinctions in the WalletHub study, but finds itself in good company among the 10 states with the least obese and overweight residents.

Related: 30 Signs You're a New Yorker

Lake Washington, Washington
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41. Washington

Washington is among the five states with the fewest physically inactive adults, coming in right behind the category leader, Colorado.

Newark, New Jersey
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40. New Jersey

While it just missed landing amid the 10 least obese and overweight states in the country, New Jersey scored among the top five for lowest percentage of obese adults and is among the top five for adults who eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.

Related: 28 Fall Recipes That Showcase Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

17. Vermont
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39. Vermont

Vermont comes in among the top five states for lowest percentage of overweight adults and physically inactive adults. It also lands among the top five for lowest percentage of adults with high cholesterol; adults who eat less than one serving of fruits and vegetables daily; and adults with high blood pressure. Way to go, Vermont.

Related: 13 Great Places to Go Skinny-Dipping

Nebraska
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38. Nebraska

Nebraska earns no unique distinctions in the WalletHub study, but is among the top half of the nation for having a low prevalence of overweight and obese adults.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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37. Alaska

Perhaps Alaska's wide-open spaces are more conducive to raising healthy children? The state comes in among the top five for being home to the lowest percentage of obese children and is among the leaders in lowest percentage of adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Lower Falls, New Hampshire
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36. New Hampshire

Despite its legendary mountains, hiking trails, and ski resorts, New Hampshire earns no standout marks for health — but does rank among the healthier half of the nation when measured on prevalence of overweight and obese residents.

Related: 20 Amazing Hikes in the U.S.

Chicago
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35. Illinois

Illinois also doesn't earn any particular distinctions in the WalletHub study, but in rankings of obesity and overweight prevalence, has one of the healthier populations.

Hartford, Connecticut
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34. Connecticut

Connecticut is among the five states in the country with the highest percentage of overweight adults.

Pismo Beach, California, Today
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33. California

For a state known for stunning coastline, surfer lifestyle, and seemingly endless list of outdoor spaces to go hiking, biking, and jogging, it's somewhat shocking that California still manages to land among the five states with the highest percentage of overweight adults.

Related: The 20 Best Beaches on the West Coast

Newport, Rhode Island
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32. Rhode Island

This diminutive state is neither among the best nor worst states in any unique weight-related category measured by WalletHub. But on obesity and overweight prevalence, it fares better than many.

Nevada
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31. Nevada

Nevada, home to legendary Sin City, is among the five states with the highest percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day and is among those with the highest percentage of overweight children and adults. Stay away from the casino buffets, folks.

South Dakota
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30. South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore state has the highest percentage of overweight adults in the country. Yet it's not all bad news: It ties for fifth place in lowest percentage of adults with high cholesterol.

Best: Wyoming
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29. Wyoming

Wyoming has some of the fewest adults with Type 2 diabetes — among the five best states for it.

Ogunquit, Maine
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28. Maine

Children in Maine must be eating healthy or staying active, or a bit of both. The state is among the five in the nation with the lowest percentage of overweight children. It also comes in third for having the lowest percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits and vegetables daily.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Baltimore, Maryland
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26. Maryland

Maryland squeaks into the healthier half of WalletHub's rankings. But the Free State earns no notable distinctions in any of the study's best or worst weight-related categories.

Philadelphia
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25. Pennsylvania

The Keystone State ranks third in the nation for lowest percentage of overweight children.

Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona
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24. Arizona

Arizona lands in the worse half of the obesity and overweight prevalence rankings, but earns no unique weight-related distinctions in the study.

Virginia Beach, Virginia
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University of Kansas: Lawrence, KS
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Lewes, Delaware
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21. Delaware

Delaware is yet another state that could stand to do better in the obesity and overweight prevalence measure. Unlike in Kansas, men were slightly more obese than women in 2019, according to United Health Foundation data — but just barely.

Related: 10 Ways the Pandemic Is Hurting Women

North Carolina
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20. North Carolina

North Carolina residents clearly have some work to do addressing weight issues, yet United Health Foundation data shows the problem is among those age 45 to 64; older residents are below national obesity levels, and younger residents are only 0.2% more obese than national averages from 2019.

Detroit, Michigan
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19. Michigan

Michigan may also need to consider rolling out a public health campaign to encourage healthier habits. Every race and ethnicity in the state slightly outpaced national obesity averages in 2019 data except for American Indians and Alaskan Natives, who in Michigan were less overweight or obese than the national average.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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18. New Mexico

New Mexico edges into the top 20 most obese and overweight — though in United Health Foundation data from 2019, residents 65-plus were comfortably below the national average for obesity, as were black and white residents as a whole; Hispanics, American Indians and Alaskan Natives were well over.

Madison, Wisconsin
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17. Wisconsin

The Badger State is fourth worst in the nation when ranked by percentage of overweight children.

Ohio
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16. Ohio

Buckeye State residents may want to consider increasing their activity level. All age ranges surpassed state national averages for obesity in United Health Foundation data from 2019, and only black residents overall were under national averages. Hispanics were worst off.

Worst: Augusta, Georgia
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15. Georgia

Georgia rounds out the 15 worst states for prevalence of obesity and overweight residents but does not rank among the best or worst in any other weight-related categories in the study.

Fargo, North Dakota
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14. North Dakota

While North Dakota is among the 15 worst states for prevalence of obesity and overweight residents, it also has one of the lowest percentages of adults with high cholesterol — ranking third best.

Iowa
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13. Iowa

In addition to ranking for obese and overweight residents overall, Iowa has the nation's fifth-highest percentage of overweight children.

Texas
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12. Texas

Texas ties with Alabama for fifth-highest percentage of adults in the country with high cholesterol.

Missouri
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11. Missouri

Missouri is home to the highest percentage of overweight children in the country.

Indiana
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10. Indiana

The Hoosier State has the second-highest percentage of overweight children in the country.

Birmingham, Alabama
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9. Alabama

Alabama's challenges include being home to the nation's fourth-highest percentage of physically inactive adults, and fifth-highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol and who choose to eat less than one serving of fruits and vegetables per day. The state is also among the worst in the country when measured by percentage of adults with Type 2 diabetes, ranking third. Finally, it has the second-highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure.

downtown Charleston, South Carolina
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8. South Carolina

In addition to being among the 10 worst states based on obesity and overweight prevalence, South Carolina is home to one of the most obese and overweight cities. In a study this year by WalletHub, Columbia was fifth-worst in the nation.

Hastings, Oklahoma
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7. Oklahoma

The Sooner State is fourth-worst in the country for adult obesity and has the second-highest percentage of adults that eat less than one serving of fruits and vegetables per day.

Shreveport, Louisiana
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6. Louisiana

Adults here are not fond of fruits and vegetables: The state ranks worst in the nation for it. Louisiana also leads the nation for adults with high cholesterol and ranks third for most physically inactive adults and obese children.

Louisville, Kentucky
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5. Kentucky

Where to begin with Kentucky, a state rampant with health challenges. Among the five most obese and overweight states in the country, The Bluegrass State also leads many in percentage of obese children (fourth place); adults with high blood pressure (fifth place); physically inactive adults (second place); and adults with high cholesterol (third place).

Knoxville, Tennessee
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Little Rock, Arkansas
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Charleston, West Virginia
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2. West Virginia

West Virginia is second on adult obesity and doesn't fare much better on children at fifth in the nation. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are also serious challenges in the Mountain State, which ranks second- and third-worst, respectively.

Related: 26 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Longleaf Trace | Mississippi
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Most Overweight and Obese: Mississippi

In the worst state for obese and overweight residents — that's adults and children — it should be no surprise Mississippi also has the highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure and physically inactive adults, ranks third-worst for adults eating less than one serving of fruit or vegetables a day, and second-worst for adults with Type 2 diabetes.

Related: 29 Foods Diabetics Should Avoid