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The 8 Most Obese Cities in America (and the Foods Fat People Love in That Area)

By carolyncastiglia |

obese, fat, americans, fast food, heart disease, fatty foods

'Merica: we're fat.

America is a country full of fat people. From sea to shining sea, we dine on fast food, pre-prepared foods from the grocery store and processed foods. We love sweet things, rich things, salty things, creamy things. (Or, preferably one giant obesity cake that includes all of those flavors, thank you very much.) But in what areas do the fattest people in our country live?

According to Prevention magazine, “These urban centers have the highest rates of heart disease and obesity in the country, perhaps because they seem to promote sedentary lifestyles and diets heavy on fast food but light on fresh produce.” Is your city on the list? You might be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised …

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The 8 Most Obese Cities in America (And the Foods Fat People in Each Town Love)

8. Louisville, Kentucky

Get ready to be grossed out: "Louisville contains more McDonald’s outposts per capita (39) than any city in the country, according to a Daily Beast/Newsweek report, plus 20 Arby’s, 17 Dairy Queens and 19 Papa John’s," according to Prevention. But what food are they really famous for?
Photo via Flickr

Some cities I thought for sure would be on this list are Buffalo, NY (known for its chicken wings and epidemic of strokes) and Chicago, IL (known for Chicago hot dogs and deep dish pizza). I’m not surprised there are no West Coast cities on this list. Enjoy your salads, Cali!

Visit Prevention‘s expose on The 8 Most Artery-clogging Cities in America for more info about each of these cities and what you can do to change your lifestyle if this info sounded all too familiar — and these food photos looked all too yummy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish this Domino’s pizza I ordered for dinner. Chow!

Main photo via Flickr

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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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30 thoughts on “The 8 Most Obese Cities in America (and the Foods Fat People Love in That Area)

  1. marissa paxton says:

    Its pretty gross to read about how overweight our nation is. beauty supplies

  2. CW says:

    A donut burger?????? That just replaced KFC’s “Double Down” as my official most icky fast food sandwich….

  3. michelle says:

    Thank heavens for the East and West Coasts, and Chicago. Otherwise, think about what the national averages would look like (shudder). Note that the big cities that are not on this list all have good public transportation, real downtowns and actual street life. But I know you all love your cars and fast food.
    I love how the donuts on the donut burger even had icing on them. You wouldn’t want to leave out any calories, right?

  4. carolyncastiglia says:

    The donut burger is unbelievable. But it does have lettuce on it!

  5. Monica says:

    Don’t forget the poh boys in Louisiana

  6. Jessica says:

    I live in Fort Wayne and this does disgusts me. That donut burger is only served once a year at the big festival we have downtown, but it is still bad that anyone would eat that! On the up side, Fort Wayne does have miles and miles of bike trails, lots of mini marathons going on all the time and many other things to do to keep our city active. Ugh. I love where I live but this is just shameful.

  7. Andrea says:

    It’s always the most shocking thing about travelling to the US. We live near the border, but those few miles make such a difference. Canadians are definitely on the heavy side and getting heavier, but it is still very unusual to see 500 lb humans here. But in the US? Good lord. How does one get so big? A lot of donut burgers, I guess.

  8. ashley says:

    I grew up in the Detroit area, so seeing the general public daily, it doesn’t surprise me that Detroit is the #1 city on the list. It’s sad, but not surprising about any city that makes it on the list. Unfortunately, overweight has become the norm and truly obese people may not realize that they’re more than overweight, they’re obese.

    I hope that even after this pregnancy, I can continue my efforts to be as healthy and active as possible. When I realized that I was getting close to overweight (on the BMI scale), I started trying to change my diet and become more active. So far, so good. :) Actually, it worked so well that my body was ready for pregnancy before I realized it was, lol.

  9. DeservingPorcupine says:

    We spent three unhappy years in Tulsa. On a trip up to Bartlesville, 45 minutes north of Tulsa, we ate at a small diner that carried the slogan, “Gravy on everything” and served up hamburgers and fries covered in gravy. It was the only place open, and we had a hard time finding something palatable.

  10. Denise says:

    I was very surprised not to see Buffalo, NY on there. I am from Buffalo and know for a fact that we are a food city . . . and none of it is healthy! But we do have the best wings, pizza, beef on weck, sausage, etc. that I have ever had. Living in Atlanta now, what we miss most is Buffalo food!

  11. schrodinger says:

    Dallas is Definitely NOT a walk-friendly city. There are many areas here in town that don’t even have sidewalks, and stuff is so spread out that it’s not practical to walk anywhere. Not to mention, our summer heat, when our nighttime lows are often hotter than the daytime highs in other US cities. It’s not too much fun to walk anywhere when it’s 105-110 degrees out, with high humidity levels to go with it. And biking? Pretty much taking your life in your handsf or the same reason. Too many crazy drivers! Yeah, there’s a new bike trail open, but if you don’t live close to it, it’s pretty much useless. Goes from Plano to downtown but for those of us who live miles away from it, it’s a crap shoot as to whether you can get there without being run down. Northwest Highway is under construction and it’s not even safe to ride. To the Buffalo poster– I lived in Buffalo… ah yes, beef on weck! Haven’t had one since I was a kid!

  12. Rosa Acosta says:

    Texas born and rise there got to love Texas dont care hot it get it all very nice but I moved out in 1976 to Calif but I still go on my VAC there no place like TEXAS there mall/food /people it all good

  13. Leoluca Criscione PhD says:

    Please consider that the warmer the outdoor temperature, the lower is the Basal Metabolic Rate (Calories the body burns at rest, in part genetically driven). Thus, a sedentary lifestyle in a warm city (New Orleans, Baton Rouge etc) let us burn less calories than in a cold one!! see more in the book: Eating healthy and dying obese!

  14. Nonobese Detroiter says:

    If you’re talking about the city of Detroit, you’re talking about a city that’s suffered for decades from high poverty and unemployment rates (meaning lousy to nonexistent health care), high rates of crime, mental illness and addiction, corrupt and neglectful government, abysmal mass transit, and not a whole lot of supermarkets. So you’ve got a lot of very unhappy people that nobody gives a damn about trying to keep themselves going with fast food and whatever they can scrounge up at the party store down the street. A growing number of people in the Metro Detroit suburbs are also facing joblessness, homelessness, and a culture that says “Who cares about you–go die.” But you say it’s because we eat too many coney dogs? Oh, okay.

  15. jumble crumble says:

    I live in Fort Wayne… I’ve NEVER seen the doughnut Burger.. so you should probably pick a more familiar for for “what they eat”

  16. Lisa says:

    I’ve lived in Fort Wayne since I was two years old. Leaving only to go away to college. I’m now 44 and I have never seen or even heard of a doughnut burger. When I read this I asked my husband had he heard of it and he said no. I then called several friends and none of them have heard of this and yes we do go to the festival. So this proves that what you read on line is more likely a bunch of bullshit.

  17. Decemberevening says:

    I think it is all the sitting,, and not all the eating to blame,,,,
    I notice most Americans drive everywhere.
    I grew up in the UK, and walked everywhere, I ate all the time and weighed about 95,Ibs. When I came here I noticed the weight piling on… . Now I am 165Ibs
    I had stopped walking all together.
    Now I am back on track!! MY weight is dropping again.


  18. Catwoman says:

    Look at the sitcoms on TV; especially those in re-runs from the 90′s; being fat and blubbery was already perfectly acceptable and treated as “normal”. Health wasn’t even a topic of their scripts; only the topic of jokes. Same now. Ha Ha, fat is funny and cool. Who are their sponsors, I wonder?

  19. holly says:

    Detroit #1? No suprise here. Only after moving FROM Detroit does one see just how little desire the Motown madmen (and women) have to eat healthy. You want a study on health care benefits and actual health? Just study Detroit. A sad statistic that shows decades of zero out-of-pocket doctor visit co-pay (union negotiated) and near-zero employee contribution to medical benefits so there is NO cause-and-effect connection, NO incentive to live healthy, excercise, and avoid the doctor. Yes, coney dogs and french fries rule the Motor City. Any questions?

  20. TOM says:

    Not suprising that the south is full of white trash and trailer trash. They have no culture down there no sense of what is healthy. So of course there on the list. As for Detroit large population of black that eat fried chicken and pigs feet and drink all day outside the local liquor store and wait for there welfare checks and complaine about whitey having al the money.
    The most unhealthy are of cousre are the low classes of our society that live in regions where there is no quality of life to promote a healthy living. They are lazy and depend on hand outs from the Government and lye home on there ass drinking beer and watching Jerry Springer or staring on it. And who pays the price for there health care, the true working class American. In my option let them die right where they sit, don’t offier them any healh care, the fewer the better. I’m off to work because I am a true tax paying American.

  21. Trisha says:

    I think too much infamous is given to peoples weight. I have read the comments and some are just prejudical statements about color and class of a person. Not everyone who is overweight/obese is because of overeating or what they eat. Some have medical conditions and through no fault of their own are overweight. Those who do not have medical problems have the right to choose what the eat and what they do not and also have the choice to walk or exercise, also. None of us is God so why should we judge others for the choices they make. What can we each be judged on ourselves?

  22. Val says:

    I live in Fort Wayne. This is a bunch of BS. Ive never heard of a Donut Burger! I’ve traveled to many cities and states, and seen more obesity in these areas, than Fort Wayne. This article is so false!

  23. Thomas says:

    this is totally bs. i have lived in Fort Wayne for over two decades and i have not seen many, if any, fat people at all. i would like to know where they get this crap at?

  24. Melanie B. says:

    That doughtnut burger looks an awful lot like a bagel to me…

  25. Liobawilson says:

    Goodness gracious , travelled to New Orleans last May to June and then onto Texas and Washington DC , but was shocked at the obestiy level in New Orleans and huge portions etc . In England although we have not the best cuisine in the world, I worry that we are also following in the rest of the Western World’s fast fix syndrome ? Golly we need to get on top of this dilemma, have travelled through Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe and jolly know what hunger and poverty looks like… Let’s develop more empathy and insight ?

  26. Michelle says:

    While food is a part of the problem it’s not the whole thing. Much of the problem is we have become extremely inactive. Everything from computers, tv, video games, car rides, etc… Many children don’t go outside to play anymore they’re stuck in front of the good old boob tube playing their latest video game or watching some tv show. Adults why bother walking to the corner market it’s easier to drive. We’re so hooked on convenience and immediate pleasure we don’t stop to realize as we sit for hours on end munching on that bag of chips, downing multiple cans of soda what we’re doing to ourselves. Fad yoyo diets that people spend billions of dollars per year on only to do more damage to their bodies as they don’t realize it’s a complete commitment to overhauling their way of living in order to achieve permanent results. I myself fell into the “lazy trap” Thankfully my friend found something that’s not only changing the problem of obesity but boosting economy and giving people a chance at both health and financial rewards. He and the rest of our community showed me a whole new way to live and I’m loving it. For the first time in years I actually WANTED to get up and walk. Not because I had to as part of my new life, but I wanted to. It felt great and my whole mentality is changing. I try to share this opportunity of a better life with others but many are so skeptical because their “magic pill” didn’t work and they’ve already spent so much money on useless crap that they hesitate to see the reality. Reality is, leave the fried foods, starchy breads, potatoes, and rice behind or eat them in moderation, cut back on the cola and drink at least the 64 ounces of water per day… People including myself before say “Gosh that’s so much water I don’t think I can do that” Well how many 20 ounce or 32 ounce sodas do you drink per day, how much coffee, how many mochas??? Seriously write down what you eat and drink for 1 whole day including the amount. Go back the next day and look at your list and evaluate what you would be willing to change for a better you. Replace some of those drinks with a nice glass of ice water, ad steamed veggies with every dinner and get out and walk for at least 15 minutes 4 times a week, and watch the amount of sodium you intake. You’d be amazed how different you will feel with just those little changes. is a great tool to use to help you keep track of calories, activity etc.. There are free exercise videos on Comcast on demand if it’s too cold to go outside or pouring down rain you can do it inside. There is a wealth of tips and information available at our fingertips but none of it will do any good if you aren’t willing to take the first step and COMMIT to changing your way of living. If anyone wants to know what program is helping me get on the right track feel free to email me

  27. herp says:

    dammit this is making me hungry

  28. Ronda Allen says:

    Well, I have lived 20 miles from Fort Wayne Indiana my entire life of 50 years, and I have NEVETR heard of the donut burger, and i must say that it doesnt sound or LOOK appealing to me at all. my entire family laughed our asses off when i read this and showed them the pic. EWWWWW although i know that drastic measures are taken at the ‘fairs’ and carnivals, but REALLY, I just dont know about mixin my burger with my donut!! Wonders never cease to Amaze me!!

  29. Slim says:

    people who cannot afford things should not be given them for free. bring back the stigma of food stamps. no free cellphone. only 911 capability.
    when you give these people iphone so they can contact a theoretical employer, they contact domino’s 30 min to next pie hole stuffing.
    We cannot afford fat people, truly.

    the government is largely in the way. and obama hussein asylum wants to hand out more earned income for people who don’t earn it.

    fat people should be required to do all the manual labor for thin people. Jk

  30. Big Al says:

    Totally ridiculous! How can these people appreciate themselves? Americans have romanticized eating large and fattening meals. I mean, how are two people suppose to make love when both are obese? Americans are slowly become the most physically unattractive people on the planet. Black women, in particular, have allowed themselves to become extremely unattractive (physically), which creates an unattractive and negative attitude. Even though I am African American, born and raised in the state of Mississippi, I will continue alternating my residence between Bern, Switzerland and Dusseldorf, Germany, which I’ve done for the past fifteen years.

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