The Most And Least Obese States In The U.S.

The national obesity rate dropped ever so slightly to 26.1 percent in 2011, from 26.6 percent last year, according to a new report from Gallup identifying the most and least obese states in the U.S.

For the second year in a row, Colorado has the lowest obesity rate nationwide, clocking in at 18.5 percent -- the only state below 20 percent. West Virginia has the highest obesity rate seen since 2008, at 35.3 percent.

The data was collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Participants were asked to report their height and weight, allowing Gallup to calculate their body mass index (BMI). A person is considered obese if they have a BMI of 30 or higher.

The report also examined levels of high blood pressure and diabetes, and found that, like last year, these lists look similar to the list of the most obese states, with both obesity and chronic disease clustered among Southern and Midwestern states. The residents of these states are less likely to eat a healthy diet, exercise frequently or even have a convenient and safe place to exercise and are also more likely to smoke, according to the report.

Click through the slideshow below to see which states have the highest and lowest obesity rates. Tell us in the comments what you think: Any surprises?

Lowest Obesity Rates: 1. Colorado

obese states

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