A new Gallup poll has revealed the cities in the U.S. with the most obese populations. For the third year in a row, the city with the lowest obesity rate in the U.S. continues to be in Boulder, Colo., at 12.4 percent. As for large communities with a population of more than 1 million, Memphis had the highest rate at 31.9 percent.
As health officials have pointed out, diet affects not only your waistline, but your mouth as well. After consuming food and beverages, your body processes their nutrition and supplies the body with energy, but some of the food particles linger on teeth and gums, causing problems like cavities, gingivitis and bad breath.
Nationwide, the obesity rate jumped to 27.1 percent in 2013, the highest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since tracking started in 2008. Obesity is measured by calculating a person’s body mass index (BMI) score, which takes into account height and weight. BMI scores of 30 or more are considered obese.
The fittest major U.S. communities were Denver-Aurora, Colo., San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., whereas the fattest communities were Memphis, Tenn., San Antonio, Texas, and Richmond, Va.
The data reflects the state level results for 2013, which discovered that West Virginia and Mississippi were the most obese states, while Montana and Colorado were the least obese. Three areas in Colorado – Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland and Denver-Aurora – ranked among the communities with the 10 lowest obesity rates. Colorado is famous for its outdoor recreation and natural landscape, so these results may not be that surprising.
According to the Journal of American Medicine (JAME), more than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9 percent) are obese. No state has met the goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 initiative to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent. Only one U.S. metropolitan area has hit the target.
Connection between obesity and oral health problems
Obesity can affect a person’s oral health in two main ways. First, it impacts your diet with what you consume and how often you consume it, which can result in a higher risk of tooth decay. Chowing down on foods with a lot of sugar builds plaque on your teeth – the starting point of most oral health problems for kids and adults.
Secondly, obesity can lead to an increased risk of gum disease. Studies have indicated that the more obese a person is, the higher their chances are of developing gum disease.
Health officials expressed their concern about the health implications of obesity.
“In order to combat the trend and encourage individuals to make healthier choices, community-based policy and environmental approaches can, and should, be used,” said Janna Lacatell, Healthways Lifestyle Solutions Director, in a statement obtained by Gallup.