Results of a recent Gallup poll have revealed that the obesity rate for America has increased to 27.7 percent in 2014 from 27.1 percent in 2013. The survey has further revealed that even though nearly two-thirds of Americans fall in the category of obese or overweight, a majority are now shifting to the “obese” category -- thus placing their health at serious risk.
According to the survey results, the obesity rate is highest in the country's Midwest and South. Mississippi has an obesity rate of 35.2 percent, highest in the nation for the second consecutive year. West Virginia ranks No. 2, with an obesity rate of 34.3, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
On the other hand, people in Hawaii were found to be at the least obese, followed by those in Colorado, Montana and California. Hawaii, with an obesity rate of 19 percent, was the only state where fewer than 1 in 5 residents suffered from obesity.
Gallup has been conducting the survey every year since 2008. Mississippi and West Virginia have consistently been on the list of the most obese states, while Colorado and California have always been among the least obese states since 2008.
The obesity rate in the U.S. has been rising since 2008, when the nation was 25.5 percent obese. The only state where a significant decline in obesity has been recorded is Tennessee. In Minnesota, Alabama, New Mexico and Nevada, the obesity rate has increased since 2013.
The survey asked Americans to report their height and weight, which is then used to calculate their body mass index (BMI). People with a BMI over 30 are classified as obese.