New Study Ranks The Most Obese Cities In America

| by Alexander Rubinstein

A new study from Rent Application uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rank the most obese cities in America.

Rent Application used data the CDC gained through the most recent census and based its rankings on cities with at least 50,000 people.

The list does not account for people who are overweight, but those who are clinically obese.

Obesity is a medical condition in which the accumulation of excess body fat leads to reduced life expectancy and health problems. Various diseases are commonly associated with obesity, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, certain cancers and osteoarthritis.

Obesity is determined by using a person’s weight and height to determine their body mass index. Adults with a BMI higher than 30 are considered obese.

The U.S. is 18th on the CIA’s list of most obese nations, but among countries with large populations only Mexico has a higher rate of obesity than America, according to Take Part, which used information for the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Status Report. Mexico surpassed the U.S. two years ago.

At least 30.8 percent of the American population is obese, or almost 1 in 3 Americans. The high rate of obesity comes at a large financial cost. Obese people spend 42 percent more on health care. The annual estimated cost of obesity-related medical treatments is $147 billion, which makes up 10 percent of all health care spending in the U.S. Childhood obesity is responsible for $14.1 billion in direct health care costs, according to Rent Application.

Obese workers also come with a high cost to employers. Absenteeism related to the disease costs $4.3 billion a year. Lower productivity costs employers $506 per obese worker per year. Obese workers also take more sick days, while medical and indemnity claims increase nearly 10 fold.

The top 10 American cities with the highest obesity rates are as follows:

1. Opelousas, Louisiana, with a population that is 42.3 percent obese.

2. Orangeburg, South Carolina, with 41 percent.

3. Hammond, Louisiana, with 40.2 percent.

4. Saginaw, Michigan, with 39.7 percent.

5. Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, with 39.5 percent.

6. Houma, Louisiana, with 39.4 percent.

7. Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with 39.2 percent.

8. Rocky Mount, North Carolina, with 39.2 percent

9. Lumberton, North Carolina, with 39 percent.

10. Huntington, West Virginia with 39 percent.

This map of the Fattest Cities in America was created by Rent

Sources: Rent ApplicationCDCWikipediaTake Part / Photo credit: Vinnie Lauria / Flickr