Lakeland is Most Obese City in Florida

Lakeland-Winter Haven is the most obese metro area in Florida, reports financial news website

The Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area has an adult obesity rate of 35.3%. The report found that 27.2% of adults do not exercise even though 82.2% of the population has access to exercise venues. Additionally, 14.1% of adults in the area live with diabetes and 20.3% reported that they feel they are in fair to poor health.

Florida: Lakeland-Winter Haven

Obesity rate: 35.3 (city) 26.5% (state)
Adults who do not exercise: 27.2% (city) 24.7% (state)
Population with access to exercise venues: 82.2% (city) 87.9% (state)
Adults with diabetes: 14.1% (city) 10.9% (state)
Adults who report fair or poor health: 20.3% (city) 18.5% (state)
Poverty rate: 16.0% (city) 14.0% (state)

Rates of obesity are not evenly distributed around the country. Nine of the 20 cities with the highest adult obesity rates are in the South — 11 if you count the entries in Texas and Maryland. (Because what people eat and drink is not the only cause of obesity — though it may be one of the most important one — the most obese cities are not necessarily the cities with the worst diets.

Obesity is not exclusively a Southern issue. Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana are among the non-Southern states with an obesity rate of over 35%. For reference, the national adult obesity rate is approximately 30%, and out of the 382 metro areas in the country, only two have obesity rates above 40%. Even in the states whose cities have the lowest rates — Vermont and Hawaii — nearly a quarter of the population is obese.


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