Weight watching

See where Austin weighs in among the fattest metros in the nation

See where Austin weighs in among the fattest metros in the nation

Overweight stomachs
Austin tips the scale on the list of the country's fattest cities. Courtesy photo

Here’s the skinny on obesity in the Austin metro area: Despite being named among the most physically active cities in the U.S., the region appears at No. 54 in a new ranking of the fattest places in the country.

Personal finance website WalletHub just released its 2022 ranking of the country’s fattest places. The website compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 19 key indicators of weight-related problems. The ranking factors include the percentage of physically inactive adults, projected obesity rates by 2030, and access to healthy food.

Based on those indicators, Austin ranks 54th, making it the sixth-fattest major metro in Texas. The McAllen area ranks first in the U.S. and, therefore, in Texas.

Austin shows up at No. 26 in the study’s “obesity and overweight” category, No. 74 in the “health consequences” category, and No. 85 in the “food and fitness” category. (Higher numbers are better than lower numbers.)

The WalletHub-declared fattest metro, McAllen, fares poorly when it comes to many of the individual ranking factors. For instance, it’s got the highest percentage of obese adults and the highest percentage of physically inactive adults, and it ranks fourth for the percentage of diabetic adults.

“There are lots of ideas for policies to combat obesity. So far, most programs have not achieved the gains they have aimed for. Instead, obesity continues to rise,” Kathleen Davis, assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, tells WalletHub.

Here’s how the other major metros in Texas rank in the WalletHub study:

  • San Antonio, No. 25
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, No. 27
  • El Paso, No. 30
  • Houston, No. 36