HCN News & Notes

Study: Springfield Ranks 96th Among 100 Metro Areas in Obesity

SPRINGFIELD — WalletHub recently compared 100 of the most populated metro areas across 18 key indicators of weight-related problems, incorporating data ranging from share of physically inactive adults to projected obesity rates by 2030 to healthy-food access.

Springfield ranked 69th on the list. It placed 96th in the category of obesity and overweight (60{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of the total score), which gathers rates among children, teenagers, and adults as well as future projections. In the category of health consequences (25{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}), which incorporates data on high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, Springfield ranked 38th. And in the category of food and fitness (15{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}), which gathers information on access to healthy food, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, access to parks and recreation, and city friendliness to an active lifestyle, Springfield ranked 55th.

The Little Rock, Ark. metro area topped the list overall, ranking first in both health consequences and food and fitness. The Nashville, Tenn. metro area ranked first in obesity and overweight, but 16th overall.

“Americans are the fattest people in the world, not just stereotypically but statistically too. In fact, as of 2017, almost 40{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of the U.S. population aged 15 and older is obese. But such a finding should come as no surprise, considering the huge availability of fast-food and increasingly cheaper grocery items that have negatively altered our diets,” WalletHub notes. “Unfortunately, the extra pounds have inflated the costs of obesity-related medical treatment to nearly $316 billion a year and annual productivity losses due to work absenteeism to more than $8.6 billion.”