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Study: Minnesotans Slimmer than Most in U.S.

Minnesotans are more fit than most of the U.S., according to new research. Credit: Clarita/
Minnesotans are more fit than most of the U.S., according to new research. Credit: Clarita/
November 6, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesotans seem to be in much better shape than Americans in other parts of the country.

According to new numbers from the data-crunching website Wallethub, Minnesota is the 10th least overweight state in the U.S.

Researchers looked at government data, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wallethub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez says researchers found that, unlike neighboring North Dakota – the 10th heaviest state – Minnesota has lower rates of childhood obesity and fewer people dying as a result of obesity.

"Minnesota and North Dakota obviously share a border here, but complete opposites when it comes to facing this problem and really tackling it,” she points out. “So, in Minnesota, we see a lot less children who are either overweight or obese."

Last month, the Minnesota Department of Health found about 30 percent of the children in the state who had medical exams in 2014 were overweight, but for the first time, they were also getting nutrition counseling.

Gonzalez says such moves could help explain why Minnesota's overweight population is well below the national average. Overall, more than three-quarters of American adults are overweight or obese. And as the holidays get closer, she says it's important to be aware of the problem.

"Those hearty-eating holidays are fast approaching, so we're hoping to really pinpoint where the weight problem is the most prevalent in the U.S., and hopefully encourage Americans to reevaluate their lifestyles – starting, of course, with what they're eating in the next couple of months," she states.

The study also found Minnesota has lower rates of people living with diabetes at about 8 percent. That's a full point lower than the national average.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - MN