How Healthy is Massachusetts?


In a recent report, Massachusetts was one of the least likely states in the nation to be obese in 2012. Colorado is the only state where less than 20% of adults are obese and are right ahead of Massachusetts. West Virginia - also for a third year in a row -- is the state with the highest obesity rate, at 33.5%. Click here to read the full report

These data, collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, are based on respondents' self-reports of their height and weight, which are used to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. Americans who have a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking Americans' weight situation daily since January 2008.

Obesity is now one of Americans' top health concerns -- surpassing smoking and alcohol -- with nearly four in 10 Americans saying it is an extremely serious problem to society. With obesity rates up in nearly all age groups since 2008, it is a problem that requires the nation's attention. The economic impact to the U.S. carries a heavy cost -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity alone costs about $147 billion annually.

We need to do more! We need to invest in prevention programs -- ranging from obesity to smoking cessation -- to prevent disease and illness among Americans. Measures like this and other actions leaders and individuals can take in the years ahead may ultimately serve to curb the nation's obesity problem.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks wellbeing in the U.S. and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit

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