Study Reveals Texas City with Largest Latino Population Has Highest
Study Reveals Texas City with Largest Latino Population Has Highest Rate of Obesity Freepik

McAllen, the Texas city with the highest proportion of Latinos in the United States, also has the highest share of obese adults, according to the '2024 Most Overweight and Obese Cities in the U.S.' report, published by personal-finance website WalletHub.

WalletHub released the report during National Nutrition Month and highlighted that "the annual medical cost of obesity reaching close to $200 billion."

To create the ranking, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 19 key metrics, with categories including obesity and overweight rates, food and fitness, and health "consequences" such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or heart disease rates.

The website gathered information from different such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, County Health Rankings, United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, and others.

McAllen, a city where Latinos make up 87% of the population, according to Census Bureau figures, ranks as the most overweight city in the country. 45% of its residents are obese, while an additional 31% are overweight but not obese, according to the study. The city's share of adults is 2.4 times higher than in Asheville, North Carolina, the metro area with the lowest rate in the country.

Located at the southern tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley, on the Mexico–United States border, McAllen also has the second-highest share of obese teenagers and the second-highest share of obese children, as per WalletHub.

The metro area of this city also has the highest share of physically inactive adults, which is 2.4 times higher than in Provo, Utah, the metro area with the lowest, the report adds.

"A major contributing factor to McAllen's obesity is that it has the lowest percentage of residents who live close to parks or recreational facilities, which leads to many people being inactive," Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst, explains.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 42% of U.S. adults are obese, one of the highest rates worldwide.

"Unfortunately, the extra pounds have inflated the costs of obesity-related medical treatment to approximately $190.2 billion a year and annual productivity losses due to work absenteeism to around $4.3 billion," reads a passage of the study.

Furthermore, McAllen's stats show that its residents are also affected by diseases related to being overweight. WalletHub highlights that the city has the fourth-highest share of people with diabetes and the third-highest heart disease rate.

Most Overweight & Obese Cities

  1. McAllen, TX
  2. Jackson, MS
  3. Shreveport, LA
  4. Mobile, AL
  5. Little Rock, AR
  6. Knoxville, TN
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Lafayette, LA
  9. Baton Rouge, LA
  10. Chattanooga, TN
  11. Birmingham, AL
  12. Columbia, SC
  13. Oklahoma City, OK
  14. Tulsa, OK
  15. Fayetteville, AR
  16. Augusta, GA
  17. New Orleans, LA
  18. Canton, OH
  19. Wichita, KS
  20. Youngstown, OH

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