Recently, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked the 10 most obese metropolitan areas in the U.S., offering perspective on the cities that are affected by the country’s obesity woes.
The health implications are apparent — of the metro areas with the highest obesity levels, 58 percent of their residents were more likely to report having had a heart attack over the course of their lifetimes, and 34 percent were more likely to report having high blood pressure. Combined, residents of these cities also pay an estimated $1 billion more in medical costs each year thanks to their high obesity rates.
In 2010, the government announced its goal to lower the prevalence of obesity to 15 percent. In 2011, only three out of the 190 areas surveyed in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index had an obesity rate below that level: Fort-Collins-Loveland, Colo.; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.; and Boulder, Colo. Boulder ranked as the least obese city, with an obesity rate of 12.1 percent.