Here’s the good news: the United States is not the fattest country in the world, contrary to popular belief. In fact, the U.S. isn’t even in the top 10 of the most obese places in the world. American Samoa, an unincorporated territory of the U.S. in the South Pacific, holds with honor of being the globe’s fattest nation.
In this paradise-like archipelago, more than 74 percent of the population is considered obese. Trailing close behind American Samoa are other South Pacific countries, including Nauru, Tonga, and Samoa.
The United States is number 18. But as the 18th most overweight country, America still battles with a grave obesity problem. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 percent of adults age 20 years and over are considered overweight.
Every year, the U.S. spends more than $300 billion per year treating obesity-related health issues. Even more worrisome is the fact that the U.S. has the highest rate of obese children in the world, at nearly 13 percent.
The research found that the Seattle-Tacoma area is the least fat area in the U.S. The Portland metropolitan and Minneapolis-St. Paul areas were the next least overweight. By contrast, the 10 fattest cities in the U.S. (so far) were in the South. Here are the top contenders:
The 10 Fattest Cities in America
10. Knoxville, TN
9. Winston-Salem, NC
8. Lafayette, LA
7. Mobile, AL
6. Chattanooga, TN-GA
5. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA
4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
3. Little Rock-North Little-Rock Conway, AR
2. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
1. Jackson, MS
Unfortunately, the American South is leading the way. Personal finance website WalletHub recently released data on the fattest cities in America in 2017.
The data compared 100 of the most populated cities across 17 weight-associated issues, including percentage of overweight adults, percentage of adults with high cholesterol, and percentage of physically inactive adults.
This post was originally published on July 7, 2017.