Rhode Island is the most obese state in New England, according to a new Gallup-Healthways report.
Worst in New England
The survey, which examined obesity rates in each state, ranked the Ocean State 27 out of 50 and last in New England. In fact, Massachusetts and Connecticut ranked amongst the top ten fittest states—finishing 5th and 10th respectively. Maine and Vermont finished in the top 20, while New Hampshire ranked 22nd.
The 27th place finish is Rhode Island’s worst ranking since Gallup began collecting obesity data in 2008. And what’s particularly interesting is that Rhode Island was named the second healthiest state in the country just three years ago. Last year, Rhode Island finished in the second quintile—coming in 13th place.
As far as community obesity rankings, the Providence-Warwick area clocked in at #60 out of 100. According to the survey, the Boston-Cambridge-Newton region was the healthiest New England community in 2014.
To make matters worse, a Gallup-Healthways survey released earlier this year determined that Rhode Island was the least happy state in New England and 37 th overall.
The fittest and the fattest
Gallup-Healthways reports that Hawaii residents were the least likely to be obese in 2014, while Colorado was named runner up for the second year in a row. Montana, California, and Massachusetts rounded out of the top five.
In terms of the most obese states, that dubious honor went to Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Specifically, the study found that 35.2 percent of Mississippi residents suffered from obesity last year.
The national obesity rate rose to 27.7 percent in 2014, compared to 27.1 percent the previous year.
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data was based on respondents’ self-reported height and weight, which were used to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). Individuals with a BMI or 30 and above are considered obese.
According to Gallup-Healthways, the research showed a strong link between obesity and well-being. Americans who are not obese are more likely to thrive across what Gallup defines as the five elements of well-being—sense of purpose, social relationships, financial security, relationship with their community, and physical health.
In total, Gallup conducted more that 176,702 interviews with adults across all 50 states. The resulting sample represents and estimated 95 percent of Americans, according to Gallup.