(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A new ranking of America’s most obese states has been released. And for once, Massachusetts doesn’t top a dubious list.


I can’t tell you how many of these lists that pop up in my feed usually put our beloved state of Massachusetts in a bad light. From dangerous driving to road rage to bad local sports fans, it seems like too many of these studies that are circulating have the Commonwealth on the losing end. So it’s nice for once to see we’re getting something right. It’s healthy, actually. And literally!


The team at WalletHub recently released a piece titled Most Overweight & Obese States in America (2023). They open with a phrase we’ve heard before, and all too often: “Being overweight is becoming the new normal in America.” They continue with recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that puts 7 in 10 adults in the United States in either the overweight or obese range.


America’s Most Obese States: Where Does Massachusetts Rank?

The study continues with this explanation and methodology: “The problem is bigger in some states than in others, though. WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of obese and overweight population to sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents to obesity-related health care costs.” So there’s lots to consider.


You can dig into the full study here, and it’s robust. They share the most and least obese states, experts weigh in, and they even serve up the most popular comfort foods, state by state. So let’s take a look at where Massachusetts and the rest of the New England states ranked below. And why not have a bit of comfort food while we’re at it? Sure, health is important. But I’d rather be heavier and happier than skinnier, starving, and miserable.

  • Connecticut

    Overall Rank: 36

    Most Popular Comfort Food: New Haven Style White Clam Pizza

    I can relate. True story: I one time took down almost an entire white clam pie at Frank Pepe’s in New Haven.

  • Maine

    Overall Rank: 20

    Most Popular Comfort Food: Lobster Rolls

    I mean, is there any question? There’d be anarchy if any other comfort food was chosen!

  • Massachusetts

    Overall Rank: 49

    Most Popular Comfort Food: Clam Chowder

    My Nana Jeanie made the best homemade clam chowder I’ve ever tasted. Better than Legal’s, even.

  • New Hampshire

    Overall Rank: 31

    Most Popular Comfort Food: Apple Deserts

    Apple pies, apple fritters, apple turnovers apple cider donuts…give me all the apple goodies from those great New Hampshire orchards. And I’ll wash ’em down with a Tuckerman’s apple cider.

  • Rhode Island

    Overall Rank: 29

    Most Popular Comfort Food: Clam Cakes

    Clam cakes, clam fritters. Call ’em what you want. When you’re in the Ocean State, you’re nibblin’ on ’em.

  • Vermont

    Overall Rank: 42

    Most Popular Comfort Food: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

    Three words, Vermonters: Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

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