According to CDC statistics, over 40 percent of adults in the United States are obese. Not only does obesity negatively affect a person's general health, but during the COVID-19 pandemic it increased the risk of developing serious symptoms, tripling the likelihood of hospitalization in some cases, said the CDC. A 2012 study put the costs of obesity-related medical treatment in the U.S. at $190.2 billion a year, amounting to nearly 21% of annual medical spending. In 2014, the American Journal of Health Promotion found that employees at a normal weight cost employers an average of $3,830 a year in health care and related costs, while morbidly obese employees cost employers more than twice as much, at $8,067.

Obesity is more prevalent in some cities in the U.S. than others. To determine those cities, WalletHub compared 100 of the country's most populous metropolitan areas across three dimensions: Obesity and Overweight, Health Consequences, and Food & Fitness. It used 19 different metrics to evaluate those dimensions, including share of overweight and obese adults, shares of adults with high blood pressure or diabetes, and low fruit/vegetable consumption and limited access to healthy food.

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.