The Bluegrass State is synonymous with horse racing, bourbon and Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, the time has come for Kentuckians to put down the drumstick and pass on the extra helping of mashed taters. Data released this week shows Kentuckians' waistlines are expanding.
A WalletHub report of the "fattest" states in the country ranked Kentucky third behind Mississippi and West Virginia. Tennessee and Alabama rounded out the top five.
The study compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 29 key metrics from share of obese and overweight population to obesity-related health care costs and sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents.
Kentucky had the highest percentage of physically inactive adults in the country and the second highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol. The state also placed in the top 10 for highest percentage of overweight children (third); obese children (sixth); adults with hypertension (sixth); adults with Type 2 diabetes (seventh); and obese adults (eighth).
In fact, a separate study of the "fattest" cities performed by WalletHub earlier this year ranked Louisville 17th and Lexington 24th.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 7 in 10 U.S. adults 20 and older are either overweight or obese -- costing Americans nearly $200 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity.
In addition to being overweight, 82.1 million U.S. residents ages 6 and older were completely inactive in 2018, according to findings by the Physical Activity Council. Physical inactivity and carrying extra weight concoct the perfect recipe for bad health.
It's time to step away from the dinner table and get moving, Kentucky. Grab the kids and take a walk around the block. Park farther from the store or office or take the stairs for extra steps.
Small changes made each day can lead to big results. After all, being known as the "fattest" state isn't a title we'd like to claim.