Daily Israel Report

Americans Are Fat, Reports Gallup ‘Well-Being Index’

Call it overweight or call it obese, but in old-fashioned English, American are fat – in all 50 states, says Gallup’s “well-being index.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/20/2012, 8:27 PM

Streetlife in Manhattan
Streetlife in Manhattan
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Call it overweight or call it obese, but in old-fashioned English, American are fat – in all 50 states, says Gallup’s “well-being index.”

A majority of Americans in all 50 states are “overweight or obese,” or what used to be called “fat,” according to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, that covers the first six months of 2012.

Bloomberg has reported that the United States ranked 33rd in the list of the healthiest countries in the world. Israel was in sixth place.

The least fat residents in the United States live in Colorado, but even there, 55.1 percent of the population were deemed to be “overweight or obese."

The “fattest” states in the country are West Virginia and Mississippi, with respective percentages of 69.3 and 68.8 of people overweight.  Coincidentally or not, almost all of the 10 states with the most obese population are located in the Midwest or south, and none of them include America’s largest cities.

Among the 10 less obese states, New York was listed with 60.7 percent of its residents obese or overweight. The “least fattest” state is Colorado, with 55.1 of its population overweight or obese, followed by Hawaii at 55.9 percent, Rhode Island at 57.2, and California at 58.7 percent.

Gallup calculated respondents' Body Mass Index (BMI) using the standard formula based on their self-reported height and weight and measurement defined by the World Health Organization.

An average of 62.8% of all American adults were overweight or obese in the first half of 2012 –  36.3% overweight and 26.2% obese, according to Gallup. The figures were similar to those of the previous year.

The results mean “millions of people are at a high risk for developing – if they haven't already – costly and deadly chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure,” Gallup reported.

It added that the consequences of the results are a lower quality of life, greater financial strain, being less attractive physically and a higher probability that their offspring also will be on the fat side.