The State of Obesity report has just come out and Massachusetts is currently the 48th most obese state in the United States. The only states with lower rates of obesity are Hawaii and Colorado, according to the report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health.
The State of Obesity observes studies collected from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although all states showed obesity rates between 20 and 35 percent, Massachusetts was on the lower end of the spectrum, with only 23.6 percent of residents being characterized as obese.
According to the report, Northeastern and Western states had the lowest rates of obesity, while the highest rates are in the South and Midwest.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to Massachusetts’s overall health. According to America’s Health Rankings, only 16.4 percent of adults still smoke, and only 19.7 percent of adults are physically inactive—both low statistics compared to the rest of the United States. Additionally, the American Psychological Association found that Northeast residents are known for having lower average stress levels than any other region, another factor that contributes to weight gain and overall wellbeing.
Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest rates of obesity at 35.1 percent, while Colorado have the lowest rate at 21.3 percent. All 10 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South or Midwest.