Lincoln County, state getting fatter over past 10 years

Published 10:00 am Sunday, August 21, 2022

The percentage of residents of Lincoln County and most of Mississippi who have gained weight over the past 10 years is increasing, according to statistics released recently by strength training site

The analysis of data available through County Health Rankings compared each county’s rate of obesity in 2012 to newly-released figures in 2022. The study found that 79 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have become more obese over that decade. Three counties increased 11 percent — Issaquena (48 percent), Yazoo (47 percent) and Tishomingo (39 percent). Another three increased 10 percent — Wilkinson (50 percent), Washington (48 percent) and Kemper (48 percent).

Lincoln County increased from 36 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2022, but remains below the state average of 41 percent.

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“The data clearly shows that, despite the warnings from public health officials, our lifestyles are becoming more sedentary and as a nation, we are becoming more obese,” said Max Whiteside of “Obesity increases the risk of developing many diseases, and this is a crisis which is trending in the wrong direction.”

Hancock County had no change, remaining at 35 percent, while Marshall and Greene counties decreased their obesity percentages. Marshall County dropped one point to 38 percent, and Greene County dropped two points, to 38 percent.

The county with the lowest obesity percentage in 2022 is Madison, with 33 percent, though it is up from 2012’s 29 percent.

Counties at 50 percent or higher in 2022 are Wilkinson, Humphreys, Holmes, Sunflower and Claiborne, at 50 percent; and Jefferson County, at 51 percent.

Overall, Mississippi ranked No. 32 when it came to increase over the 10-year period, with a 5 percent increase.

The states that fared the worst were Kansas and North Dakota, at 6 percent increase; Arizona and West Virginia with 7 percent increase; and New Mexico, which increased 8 percent. States with the least increase were California, 2 percent; Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, 1 percent; and no change in Florida.

Four of the top five counties nationwide that became less obese were located in South Dakota — three decreasing 5 percent and one decreasing 10 percent. One South Dakota county increased by 19 percent, however, ranking second in obesity growth in the nation.

The second biggest decrease was in Alaska, dropping 8 percent.

In addition to the South Dakota county that gained, the other four counties that grew the most in weight gain were all in Texas, growing by 16, 18 and 20 percent each.

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