Americans just keep getting fatter, with nearly 28 percent admitting they are clinically obese, a new survey has found.
That makes more than two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese.
Yet the poll, conducted by Gallup-Healthways, shows a record number of Americans have moved from merely overweight into the medically dangerous clinically obese category.
“Mississippi had the highest incidence of obesity in the nation for the second year in a row, at 35.2 percent,” Gallup found. “Hawaii had the lowest incidence of obesity in 2014, making it the only state where fewer than one in five residents are obese.”
The result was similar to last year’s survey, which found that about 27 percent of Americans were obese. Gallup said their findings fit in with other surveys.
The trend towards full on obesity is worrying because being obese is three times more deadly than previously thought.
People in this category have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Aside from such acute medical issues, Gallup also found more subtle drawbacks as well.
Obese adults are 29 percent more likely to say they lack purpose in life and 34 percent more likely to suffer financially than non-obese adults, even when factoring in religion, education, income and age.
176,702 adults in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia were polled as part of the extensive survey.
“The national obesity rate in 2014 was the highest that Gallup and Healthways have measured since starting to track this measure in 2008,” Gallup said in a concerning statement.
“In a handful of states, more than a third of the population is obese,” it added. “Obesity-related health problems could drive up healthcare costs and potentially have larger economic implications for states that suffer most.”
Americans claim they are attempting to lose weight, yet are not eating healthy enough or exercising anywhere close to enough to keep them from gaining weight, Gallup found.
“The strong relationship between obesity and overall well-being suggests that interventions geared toward encouraging exercise and healthy eating, while important, may not be enough to reverse the upward trend in obesity,” the groups said.
“For instance, if residents don’t have a strong sense of purpose, struggle financially or lack supportive relationships, it will be much more difficult for them to buy healthy food, exercise regularly and achieve their weight loss goals,” Gallup and Healthways said.
The five slimmest states were Hawaii, Colorado, Montana, California and Massachusetts.
The heaviest five states were Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.