Obesity Plus Diabetes Equals Diabesity and Some States Have it Bad

November 7, 2016
Carolyn Colwell

Several studies have ranked states by how fat its residents are. A new one looks at diabetes rates as well, and paints a picture of "diabesity" in the US.

The national diabetes national epidemic looks like it not only depends upon what you eat, how much you exercise, and how much you weigh, but also may be reflected in where you live.

Mississippi has the highest percentage of population living with diabetes while the Big Sky Country of Montana has the lowest proportion of its population suffering from diabetes, according to WalletHub’s 2016 Fattest States in America Survey.

The website’s fat data looked not only at obesity rates but also the relationship they had with disease and health and lifestyle habits.

In the US, 29.1 million people have diabetes, which is about 9.3 percent of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Mississippi residents have more than 1.5 times that rate, and more than twice the rate of Colorado, which has the lowest rate in the country, WalletHub found.

Rank

States with Highest % Diabetes

States with Lowest %

Diabetes

1

Mississippi (14.79%)

Colorado (6.8%)

2

West Virginia (14.5%)

Utah (7.06%)

3

Alaska (7.6)%

3

Alabama (13.5%)

Minnesota (7.6%)

4

Kentucky (13.4%)

Montana (7.9%)

5

Louisiana (12.7%) Tied

5

Tennessee (12.7%) Tied

"Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes...," the ADA has reported. Moreover, 85% of the people with type 2 diabetes, the most common kind in adults, are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The relationship between diabetes and obesity is close that they've sometimes been described with a single word: "diabesity," according to the American Diabetes Association. The WalletHub's fat data appears to bear that out. Three of the highest diabetes states are in the top five for obesity. Meanwhile, Colorado repeated its best in class status for the lowest obesity rate.

Highest % Adults Diabetes

Highest % Adults Obese

Lowest % Adults Diabetes

Lowest % Adults Obese

Mississippi #1

#3 Mississippi (35.5)

#1 Colorado

#1 Colorado (21.2)

West Virginia #2

#2 West Virginia (35.7)

#2 Utah

#7 Utah (25.7)

#3 Alaska

#28 (29.7

Alabama #3

#5 Alabama (33.5)

#3 Minnesota

#16 Minnesota (27.4)

Kentucky #4

#12 Kentucky (31.6)

#4 Montana

#10 Montana (26.4

Louisiana #5

#4 Louisiana (34.9)

Tennessee #5

#14 Tennessee (31.2)

The factors involved in diabetes-related obesity include a lack of exercise and a poor nutrition. Mississippi again topped the charts.

Highest % Adults Diabetes

Highest % of Physically Inactive

Less Than One Serving of Fruits or Vegetables Per Day

#1 Mississippi

#1 Mississippi (31.6)

#1 Mississippi

#2 West Virginia

#4 West Virginia (28.7)

#9 West Virginia

#3 Alabama

#7 Alabama (27.6)

#6 Alabama

#4 Kentucky

#6 Kentucky (28.2)

#7 Kentucky

#5 Louisiana

#3 Louisiana (29.7)

#2 Louisiana

#6 Tennessee

#9 Tennessee (26.9)

#11 Tennessee

Mississippi stands out as the biggest loser for its high rate of diabetes, but also for percentage of some of diabetes' comorbid conditions. Yet it's not in the top tier for diabetes-related deaths.

Highest % Diabetes

Highest % High Blood Pressure

Highest % Cholesterol

Highest % Obesity Related Death

#1Mississippi

#1 Mississippi (38.0)

#3 Mississippi (37.1)

#23 Mississippi (0.29)

#2 West Virginia

#4 West Virginia (36.7)

#5 West Virginia (36.7)

#15 West Virginia (0.32)

#3 Alabama

#3 Alabama (37.5)

#1 Alabama (38.4)

#47 Alabama (0.18)

#4 Kentucky

#5 Kentucky (36.5)

#2 Kentucky (38.0)

#20 Kentucky (0.30)

#5 Louisiana

#1 (a tie) Louisiana (38.0)

#6 Louisiana (36.4)

#13 Louisiana (0.33)

#5 Tennessee

#6 Tennessee (36.1)

#12 Tennessee (34.0)

#12 Tennessee (0.33)

Diabetes in 2013 ranked seventh as a cause of death in the United States, the CDC has reported.

The WalletHub's survey data was based on statistics from US Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Conference of State Legislatures.

Related Coverage:

Obesity, Weight Gain in Middle Age Associated with Diabetes Among Older Adults

Massive Review Correlates Exercise with Reduced Diabetes Risk