Top 5 Fattest Cities in the World

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If you live in the United States, there’s a good chance that you weigh too much. That’s the finding from the 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which was released in April of 2013. According to the study, in only two metro areas of the country were fewer than 15 percent of residents obese. Of course, some cities outdo the rest when it comes to obesity. Here is a look at the five cities that the survey found to be the fattest.

5 Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway in South Carolina

The Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina rounded out the top-five fattest cities in the country, according to the Gallup-Healthways survey. Maybe it’s this area’s status as a tourist community—with all the unhealthy food that usually comes along with that—that helps explain its spot on this list.

4 Hagerstown-Martinsburg in Maryland and West Virginia

In the survey, 33.4 percent of the residents of the Hagerstown and Martinsburg areas of Maryland and West Virginia were obese. This makes this region the fourth fattest in the country. It also gives West Virginia the dishonor of having two metropolitan areas on this list—the only state able to make such a claim.

3 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway in Arkansas

Little Rock offers a lot to the tourist. As a capital city, it attracts many visitors and offers plenty for these visitors to do. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the fattest cities in the country. According to the survey, 34.7 percent of residents in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway, Arkansas, were obese. Because of this, the region ranked as the third fattest metropolitan area.

2 Huntington-Ashland in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio

The Huntington and Ashland region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio ranked second on the survey because 37.7 percent of its residents were obese. This area sits along the banks of the Ohio River, and Huntington itself is the largest city in West Virginia. Huntington still serves as a major river port. This region achieved the dubious honor of making the fattest-cities list for the third year in a row, according to the Gallup-Healthways study.

1 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission in Texas

You might not know much about the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area of Texas. But this metro area in the southern portion of the state ranked as the fattest in the United States in 2012, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. According to the survey, 38.8 percent of its residents were considered obese. This region also has the lowest income per capita of any metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Dan Rafner has been writing professionally since 1992, with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News." He specializes in writing about mortgage lending, personal finance, business and real-estate topics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois.

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