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WalletHub: Michigan Ranks Among Fattest States

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With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month and Americans collectively spending nearly 200-billion dollars annually on obesity-related health costs, the personal finance website, WalletHub released a report on 2019’s fattest states in America.  Michigan came in at number 11 but ranked second in the nation for the highest percentage of obese children.

Some say “fat” is becoming the new normal in America. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than seven in 10 U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. Rates are lower for children and adolescents but have risen drastically in the past few decades.   But the problem is bigger in some states.  In fact, one survey says Michigan ranks second as it relates to the percentage of obese children.  To determine where obesity and overweight most dangerously persist, personal finance website, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here’s WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez.

“We looked at 29 different metrics. That data set ranges from a share of obesity and overweight population per state to sugary beverage consumption among teens.  Just when we’re looking at a high percentage of obese adults, Michigan is close to the top. Michigan right now has the second highest percentage of obese children. Second only to Mississippi.”

As Gonzalez says sugary drinks and lack of exercise contribute to the problem.  Registered Dietician Kristi Veltcamp, says it’s a big problem especially due to the addictive qualities of some food.

“And we try to stop and think it’s just a matter of willpower. But there is an addictive quality to food. Those highly processes, highly palatable foods that are high in sugar, salt, high in fat. They do trigger that release of dopamine in our brain that make you crave that food and want to eat it more.”

The U.S. spends in total nearly  200 billion dollars in annual health care costs related to obesity.

So prevalent has America’s obesity problem grown that the weight-loss industry continues to expand. In 2018, the U.S. weight loss and diet control market was valued at 72 billion dollars.

You can find the full report at WalletHub.com under 2019 Fattest States.