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New Reports Find Americans Are Getting Heavier And Wider

Americans are becoming less healthy overall, but the healthiest and least healthy states are largely staying the same.
Posted at 6:58 PM, Dec 20, 2018

Americans are becoming unhealthier, and where the unhealthiest Americans live is, for the most part, staying the same. That's according to two new reports about the health of America's states and the overall state of Americans' health. 

America's Health Rankings, published annually by the United Health Foundation, examines each state using 35 factors including lifestyle behaviors, environment and state-level public policy.

According to this year's survey, Hawaii is the healthiest state because of its low rates of obesity and smoking as well as low air pollution. It's followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Utah. These states all have relatively low rates of violent crime and uninsured residents, but high rates of high school graduates and people who have received immunizations.

The five least healthy states, in order, are Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Louisiana has some of the highest rates of child poverty, infectious diseases and obesity. 

Meanwhile, another recent study involving about 45,000 U.S. adults shows they're  getting heavier and wider. According to the CDC, women's waists increased from about 36 inches in 1999 to about 38 inches in 2015. Men's waists increased from 39 inches to 40.2 inches during the same time frame.

Also according to the CDC, the average man now weighs about 198 pounds and the average woman about 170 pounds. 

One of the report's authors says Americans' average body mass index, or BMI, is now almost 30, which is the cutoff for obesity.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN