NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Ever notice when you turn on your local TV news there almost always seems to be some story on how to battle obesity? The anchors are usually telling you about some miracle fat burning diet plan, endorsed by a celebrity doctor, or they are trying to scare the bejesus out of you by linking anything they can think of to the causes of obesity.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that poor diet, lack of exercise and other physical activities, genetic causes, as well as social and environmental factors can all play a role in causing someone to become alarmingly overweight.
Outside of the U.S. many people have the preconceived notion that we are a nation filled with donut loving, pizza munching, exercise hating citizens who'd rather sit on the couch and watch other people play poker on TV than actually go outside and do something active.
This is simply not true, however that doesn't mean that there aren't certain places in the country where the obesity rate is high.
Recently, obesity was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association and can cause a wide variety of health issues such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, joint pain, and it can even cause a stroke.
Of America's 50 states, 10 stand out as having the highest obesity rates. The following is a list of 2013's 10 fattest states based on a report by Gallup...
Obesity Rate: 30.5%
Last year it was reported that more than one in 10 people from this state were considered obese. One factor that may be contributing to the obesity rate there is the population's poor eating habits. According to 24/7wallst.com less than 59% of residents said they eat healthy on a daily basis.
Obesity Rate: 30.6%
Over 30% of the population in Kentucky smoked cigarettes last year, which was the highest level in the country, 24/7wallst.com reports. Smoking is said to "discourage and decease the effectiveness of physical activity." Another factor contributing to the state's obesity rate is the lack of healthy eating among residents. In 2013 only 58.8% said they ate healthy during the day.
Obesity Rate: 30.9%
A possible factor contributing to the high obesity rate in Ohio is the large percent of the population that smokes. One fourth of Ohio residents were smokers in 2013.
Obesity Rate: 31.3%
One factor that could be contributing to the high obesity rate in the state is the large number of inactive adults. According to americashealthrankings.org, 1.4 million adults are physically inactive in the state. Tennessee also has a high smoking rate.
6. South Carolina
Obesity Rate: 31.4%
The poverty rate in South Carolina added to its high obesity rate last year. Some 23% of the population did not have enough money to buy food for most of the time last year. The state also saw a high number of people suffering from obesity related illnesses: 33% had high blood pressure and 27.5% suffered with knee and leg pain.
Obesity Rate: 32.3%
A lack of exercise, healthy living habits and healthy eating are all factors that make Arkansas one of the more overweight states in the U.S. More than two out of 10 people in the state smoked in 2013 and only 54.6% of the population ate fruits and vegetables at least four times a week, 24/7wallst.com said.
Obesity Rate: 32.7%
Another factor that could possible lead to obesity is a state's poverty rate. Louisiana is a relatively poor state with a 19.9% poverty rate. Since the median income for the state was $42,944 it is possible that limited access to higher quality foods is a factor.
Obesity Rate: 34.3%
Delaware is said to be the worst in the country when it comes to residents getting enough exercise, 24/7wallst.com reports. The fact that so few of the state's population are getting enough exercise could be a key reason for its high obesity rate.
2. West Virginia
Obesity Rate: 34.4%
The state is abundant with health issues related to obesity: 41% of the state has reported having high blood pressure and 34% has high cholesterol. West Virginians also reported the most chronic pain, including in the neck, back, leg and/or knee.
Obesity Rate: 35.4%
Gallup first began collecting data to monitor obesity rates in July 2008 and since then Mississippi has continually been among the most obese states in the U.S. Residents often suffer from diabetes, headaches and high blood pressure. The average life expectancy in the state is 75 years, the lowest in the country.