There is an epidemic of obesity in the United States. According to WalletHub, more than 7 in 10 U.S. adults ages 20 and up are either overweight or obese. While rates in children are lower, even those have been on the rise over the past few decades. It’s no wonder that everywhere you turn there are weight loss tips, diets, drinks, and pills promising significant weight loss. This problem, and the “solutions,” are worth at least $72 billion a year. But that’s just the diet industry. In health care, the cost of obesity is around $173 billion a year. And when it comes to the most overweight states, we’ll take a look at where Georgia and South Carolina rank shortly.
But first, why is being overweight and obese such an issue? The Physical Activity Council took a look at our activity levels, which seem to have a huge impact. In their report, 72.2 million Americans ages 6 and up were completely inactive last year (2021). Being inactive is a huge factor in obesity. Of course, there are also other factors like genetics, emotional instability, and sleeplessness.
As with most issues, you’ll see more problems in certain states. And obesity is no different. WalletHub took a look at 31 key metrics to determine where obesity and overweight issues are the most prevalent. Earlier this year, WalletHub took an even deeper dive to look at the most overweight and obese cities in the U.S. You can see that report here.
But for now, we’ll look at the states as a whole. The metrics WalletHub looked at include the share of obese and overweight population, sugary beverage consumption among adolescents, and obesity-related health care costs.
For Georgia, we ranked just out of the top 10, coming in at number 11. The obesity and overweight prevalence ranked at 11. In the “Health Consequences” area, Georgia ranked 28th. And when it comes to “Food & Fitness,” the state came in at 8.