10 States with the Biggest Obesity Rates


Just in time for the pound-packing holidays, a list of the top 10 fattest states has emerged.

Just in time for the pound-packing holidays, a list of the top 10 fattest states has emerged.

Pharmacists who live in the states with the leading number of overweight and obese patients may want to consider providing weight-loss counseling services in their pharmacies.

There are also several counseling points that pharmacists can share with patients taking weight-loss medications. For example, pharmacists can educate patients taking liraglutide that they can expect the dosage of their once-daily injections to gradually increase over a span of 5 weeks.

Pharmacists can also make sure that patients taking naltrexone/bupropion are not on other agents due to serotonin syndrome risks and other adverse effects.

Adherence is also an important factor for patients taking weight-loss medications. Pharmacists should educate patients on potential adverse effects like gastrointestinal distress, so they know what to expect.

Counseling patients, especially at their first fill, can help them feel more comfortable discussing their adherence struggles with their pharmacist.

There are other ways pharmacists can help their obese or overweight patients who do not want to use weight-loss medications. For example, pharmacists can stress both diet and lifestyle modifications.

They can also recommend patients weigh themselves once a day, which research has shown can help patients get better control over their weight.

Jennifer L. Costello, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, ambulatory care clinical pharmacist at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, told Pharmacy Times that pharmacists should also tell patients that there is no magic solution or quick fix to losing weight.

With these counseling points in mind, here is WalletHub’s list of the top 10 states with the biggest weight problems.

1. Mississippi

2. Louisiana

3. West Virginia

4. Tennessee

5. South Carolina

6. Arkansas

7. Kentucky

8. Alabama

9. Oklahoma

10. North Dakota

The 10 states with the smallest weight problems, according to WalletHub, are:

42. Minnesota

43. Oregon

44. Vermont

45. Connecticut

46. Montana

47. Utah

48. Massachusetts

49. New Jersey

50. Colorado

51. Hawaii

Regionally, southern states showed the greatest need for more obesity intervention.

Source: WalletHub

The WalletHub ranking also included state data on unhealthy habits and consequences such as patients who were inactive, ate less than 1 serving of fruit/vegetables per day, had diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol, to name a few.

The states with the highest number of physically inactive residents were Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

States with the biggest issues regarding getting enough fruit and vegetable servings in a day were Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

West Virginia topped the list of the states with the highest percentage of residents with diabetes. Tied for second place were Mississippi and Tennessee, followed by Alabama and Arkansas in third and fourth place, respectively.

Hypertension is most commonly a problem in Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

The 5 leading states for patients with high cholesterol were Maine, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Data for the WalletHub rankings came from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Trust for America's Health, and the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

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