(WTRF) West Virginia has again been ranked the most overweight and obese state in America.

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month and obesity costing the healthcare system $173 billion each year, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2023’s Most Overweight & Obese States in America.

  • Overall Rank for West Virginia: 1st
  • 1st – % of Obese Adults
  • 1st – % of Obese Children
  • 4th – % of Physically Inactive Adults
  • 1st – % of Adults with High Cholesterol
  • 11th – % of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day
  • 1st – % of Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
  • 3rd – % of Adults with Hypertension
  • 9th – Obesity-Related Death Rate
Obese Man (Canva)

“In West Virginia, 73.9% of the state’s residents are either overweight or obese, which is 1.3 times the lowest rate of 55.9% for the District of Columbia,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst. “The Mountain State has the highest rate of adults with type-2 diabetes in the nation, 14.4%, which is more than double Vermont’s 7%. Lack of access to healthy food retailers and low rates of physical activity are big contributors to the obesity epidemic in West Virginia.”

20 Most Overweight States

1. West Virginia 11. Oklahoma
2. Mississippi 12. North Carolina
3. Kentucky 13. Kansas
4. Louisiana 14. Ohio
5. Arkansas 15. Iowa
6. Tennessee 16. Georgia
7. Alabama 17. New Mexico
8. Texas 18. Missouri
9. South Carolina 19. South Dakota
10. Delaware 20. Maine

Tips for Overweight and Obese Americans

  • Consult a Healthcare Professional: Talk to a healthcare provider to create a personalized plan tailored to your specific needs and health conditions. They can provide guidance on safe and effective weight management.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable, short-term and long-term goals for weight loss. Small, gradual changes are more sustainable and less daunting.
  • Adopt a Balanced Diet: Focus on a balanced and sustainable eating plan. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive calorie intake. Plan your meals and snacks in advance to avoid impulsive, unhealthy choices. Include a variety of nutritious foods to meet your dietary needs.
  • Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, as recommended by the CDC. Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling can be good options.
  • Find a Support System: Join a weight loss group, work with a dietitian, or seek support from friends and family. Having a support system can be highly motivating.
  • Track Your Progress: Keep a food diary or use a tracking app to monitor your eating habits and physical activity. This can help you stay accountable and identify areas for improvement.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and lead to weight gain.