The definition of obese is grossly fat or overweight. Unfortunately, the people of Iowa have officially joined those ranks in a new report. We're among a list of states that is growing about as fast as our waistlines.

Each year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases an update on states with the percentage of residents that are obese. In today's report, Iowa reached the level that puts us among states with the highest prevalence of obesity for the first time. It's one list we don't want to be on, but we are.

The CDC threshold for an obese state is one where at least 35 percent of the state's residents are considered obese. That word certainly sounds better than grossly fat, but either way that's not good.

What's considered obese? Anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30. 36.5 percent of Iowa residents now fit into that category, according to the new CDC report. That's 2.6 percent more than in 2019. You can calculate your own BMI here.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the Midwest has the highest percentage of obese people overall, at 34.1 percent. That's tied for the worst, with the South. The West and Northeast fared slightly better, at 29.3 and 28.0 percent, respectively.

Here's the worst of the worst:

  1. 39.7%-Mississippi
  2. 39.1%-West Virginia
  3. 39%-Alabama
  4. 38.1%-Louisiana
  5. 36.8%-Indiana
  6. 36.6%-Kentucky
  7. 36.5-Iowa and Delaware
Centers for Disease and Prevention
Centers for Disease and Prevention

Breakdowns by ethnicity are available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website HERE. In the meantime, I'm going to grab a salad with plenty of fruit and I think I'll go with fat-free dressing.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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