April 10, 2014 in Region

Yakima, Bellingham vie for lowest, highest national obesity rates

Associated Press
 
Spokane’s ranking

The Spokane metropolitan area ranks third-best in Washington with 25.4 percent of its residents considered to be obese, according to a recent Gallup study.

SEATTLE – Bellingham is one of the nation’s thinnest communities and Yakima is among the most obese, according to a survey that lists Washington as the only state with cities ranked in the top five and the bottom five in the nation for obesity.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released its data last week for 2012 and 2013. The Index is based on health surveys of adults in 189 metro areas, the Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

Fewer than 19 percent of adults in the Bellingham area reported a body mass index of 30 or higher, which is considered obese. That ranks Bellingham as having the fourth-lowest obesity rate among all metro areas in the study. The survey also found that 60 percent of Bellingham residents get regular exercise – sixth-highest in the nation.

But in Yakima, 36 percent of adults are obese, according to their BMI – fourth-most obese in the nation. The Yakima area also has the third-highest rate of uninsured individuals (30 percent) and the fourth-highest rate of individuals who suffer from daily stress (65 percent), according to the study.

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