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Tennessee has an obesity problem, and it's getting worse


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The news has gone from bad to worse in Tennessee's struggle with obesity. That’s according to a new study from the personal finance website Wallethub.com.

Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says Tennessee ranked as the fifth most overweight state in 2016, but rose to third most obese this year. Only Mississippi and Virginia scored higher.

“Not a good thing, and a lot of that comes down to just the sheer number of, not only adults who are either overweight or obese, but also teenagers and children who are obese or overweight.”

New in this year’s weight study, Wallethub worked to get behind the numbers to look at factors that contribute to each state’s obesity problem.

“Tennessee now has the sixth highest sugar-sweets and beverage consumption in the country at around 30 percent… Tennessee also has very high rates of inactive adults. So about a third of adults during the past month or so said that they did not participate in any physical activity.”

Gonzalez notes that Tennessee did score quite high with regard to the availability of recreational facilities. But residents simply aren’t taking advantage of those opportunities to exercise.

She also notes a strong regional trend, with Southeastern States having by far the worst problem with obesity.

The states scoring at the bottom of the 2017 Fattest  States in America -- indicating most residents maintain a healthy weight --  include Colorado, Massachusetts, Utah and Hawaii.

Would you like to review the complete Wallethub study?