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There is a stereotype when it comes to Midwesterners that we are all overweight. People think everyone in the Midwest is corn-fed and all we eat is meat and potatoes. Sure, that's not entirely true, but a new study shows just how chubby some states are.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and obesity leading to nearly $200 billion in U.S. health care costs each year. On Tuesday, our friends at WalletHub released its report on 2020's Most Overweight & Obese States in America.

To find out which states make up most of America’s overweight and obesity problem, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key metrics. Those key metrics range from share of overweight and obese population to sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents to obesity-related health care costs.

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub found that West Virginia took the cake (see what I did there) and was the fattest state in the U.S. This is a look at the top 10.

  1. West Virginal
  2. Mississippi
  3. Arkansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Tennessee
  6. South Carolina
  7. Louisiana
  8. Alabama
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Missouri

Between Iowa and Illinois, one of the Quad City states fell just outside of the top 10. Iowa landed at #11 on the fattest states. Here are a few key facts that WalletHub found about Iowa.

Obesity & Overweight Problem in Iowa (1=Fattest; 25=Avg.):

  • 30th – % of Overweight Adults
  • 21st – % of Obese Adults
  • 5th – % of Overweight Children
  • 19th – % of Obese Children
  • 28th – % of Physically Inactive Adults
  • 10th – % of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day
  • 29th – % of Adults with Hypertension
  • 24th – Obesity-Related Death Rate

Illinois landed at #34 on the list of fattest states. Not too shabby, Illinois.


But what is making Iowans so chubby? WalletHub also found each states favorite comfort food and that food's calorie value.

According to WalletHub, Iowans love themselves a loose meat sandwich which has about 278 calories per serving. Illinoisans consider deep-dish pizza their favorite snack food. That has about 329 calories per serving.


WalletHub also looked at what states are the most and least obese. On that list, Iowa landed at #20, and Illinois was at #32.

Source: WalletHub