WASHINGTON, D.C. - Boulder, Colo., continues to have the lowest obesity rate in the nation, at 12.4%. Boulder has had the lowest obesity rate nearly every year since Gallup and Healthways began measuring in 2008, with the exception of 2009. Residents of Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio, were the most likely to be obese in 2012-2013, at 39.5 percent.
Adult obesity rates are above 15% in all but one of the 189 metro areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2012 and 2013. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 program had a goal of reducing obesity to 15% in each state. No state and only one U.S. metro area has achieved this goal.
Huntington-Ashland has been among the 10 most obese communities every year since 2008. The obesity rate for the most obese metro area in 2008 -- Binghamton, N.Y., at 34.6% -- is lower than the obesity rates found in five most obese cities from 2012-2013.
These data reflect the state level results for 2013, which found that Mississippi and West Virginia were the most obese states and Montana and Colorado were the least. Three areas in Colorado -- Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, and Denver-Aurora -- were among the communities with the 10 lowest obesity rates.
Nationwide, the U.S. obesity rate increased to 27.1% in 2013, the highest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since tracking began in 2008. Obesity rates have increased in many communities since 2011, including a 3.5-percentage-point uptick in Huntington-Ashland.
Gallup and Healthways track U.S. obesity levels as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, using Americans' self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. BMI scores of 30 or higher are considered obese.
Gallup interviewed at least 300 adults aged 18 and older in each of 189 MSAs. Each MSA sample is weighted to match the demographic characteristics of that area. Gallup categorizes U.S. metro areas according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's definitions for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).