The study used 31 key metrics like consumption of sugary drinks, lack of exercise, and the overall amount of people who are overweight.
Kentucky came in at the fourth most overweight state with West Virginia at the top, Tennessee no. 6, Ohio no. 12, Missouri no. 14, Indiana no. 19, Illinois no. 24, Virginia no. 25, and the District of Columbia last, being the least overweight.
Kentuckians scored the worst in childhood obesity and adult physical inactivity taking the first spot in both categories.
A report from the State of Childhood Obesity said 23.8% of children ages 10-17 have obesity in Kentucky, 7.6% higher than the national average of 16.2%. The report also shows national trends of poorer and non-Asian children of color having higher rates of obesity.
Kentucky health rankings:
- 1st – % of Obese Children
- 1st – % of Physically Inactive Adults
- 3rd – % of Adults with High Cholesterol
- 5th – % of Adults with Hypertension
- 6th – % of Obese Adults
- 8th – % of Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
- 9th – % of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day
- 30th – Obesity-Related Death Rate
The personal finance company WalletHub found obesity costs the US Health system $147 billion a year.
American Diabetes Association reported the total direct medical expenses for Kentuckians with diabetes were estimated at $3.6 billion in 2017.
Lack of activity and being overweight are leading causes of type-2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.