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HealthBeat

Washington at both ends of obesity scale

Washington has one of the most obese and one of the least obese communities in the U.S.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed more than 500,000 adults living in 189 different metro areas in 2012 and 2013. They used those surveys to determine the most and least obese communities in the U.S.

Washington has one city in the top five of each category.

Bellingham – the beautiful northwest Washington city and home to Western Washington University (Go Vikings!) – tied for fourth least obese with 18.7 percent obesity.

On the other side of the state, Yakima ranked No. 4 on the “most obese” list with 35.7 percent obesity.

The survey found adult obesity rates are higher than 15 percent in all but one of the communities: Boulder, Colo.

Here are the least obese U.S. communities, according to the survey:

  1. Boulder, Colo. – 12.4 percent
  2. Naples, Fla. – 16.5 percent
  3. Fort Collins, Colo. – 18.2 percent
  4. Bellingham – 18.7 percent

4. Charlottesville, Va. – 18.7 percent

And here are the most obese U.S. communities:

  1. Huntington, W. Va. – 39.5 percent
  2. McAllen, Texas – 38.3 percent
  3. Hagerstown, Md. – 36.7 percent
  4. Yakima – 35.7 percent
  5. Little Rock, Ark. – 35.1 percent

The survey also ranked obesity rates among large metro areas with populations of more than 1 million people. In those rankings, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranked No. 10 on the “least obese” list.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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