It can be a touchy subject, but it is true that America has some of the highest rates of obesity in the world. According to data from the CDC “the US obesity prevalence was 41.9% in 2017 – March 2020.” This isn’t entirely surprising with the availability and overall cheaper cost of fast food and processed foods. This has a negative impact on our overall health as well as healthcare costs. But some cities have higher rates of obesity than others. Our friends at WalletHub conducted research to figure out which cities those are. And one South Carolina city ranked in the top 10 most obese cities.

In fact, of the 10 North and South Carolina cities included on this list (the largest cities in both states), South Carolina largely ranked as the most obese. To determine them, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 19 key indicators. This included metrics such as the share of physically inactive adults to projected obesity rates by 2030 to healthy-food access.

So which South Carolina city ranks in the top 10 most obese cities? It’s not the one I would have guessed. The worst in all of the US? It was McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX. Closely followed by Memphis Tennessee and Mobile Alabama. Check out where each of the largest North and South Carolina cities ranked from healthiest to most obese below. Interested in another city or the methodology you can find that here.

  • 58. Raleigh-Cary, NC


    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline

    Total Score: 71.08

    Obesity & Overweight: 44

    Health Consequences: 46

    Food & Fitness: 76

    The North Carolina capital faired the best of all the NC/SC cities. But not by much.

  • 57. Asheville, NC

    Downtown Asheville North Carolina NC Skyline Aerial.

    Total Score: 71.19

    Obesity & Overweight: 76

    Health Consequences: 50

    Food & Fitness: 30

    Asheville certainly has a reputation for being health-conscious. The proximity to hiking certainly gives residents every opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But did being a foodie paradise hurt this mountain oasis? Not so much, it finished at the second healthiest Carolina city.

  • 55. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

    Durham, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

    Total Score: 71.39

    Obesity & Overweight: 66

    Health Consequences: 80

    Food & Fitness: 20

    Durham received it’s worst (highest score) in food and fitness. It still faired better than the majority of NC/SC locales.

  • 44. Charltote-Concord-Gastonia, NC

    Charlotte skyline from helicopter

    Total Score: 73.30

    Obesity & Overweight: 47

    Health Consequences: 21

    Food & Fitness: 55

    Sorry Charlotte the Raleigh area takes the honor of being less obese. Charlotte was hurt by a fairly high “health consequences” score causing the state’s largest city to rank 44th.

  • 31. Greensboro-High Point, NC

    Greensboro North Carolina skyline from the West

    Total Score: 76.90

    Obesity & Overweight: 49

    Health Consequences: 15

    Food & Fitness: 12

    Not great rankings in both food & fitness as well as health consequences are to blame for Greensboro’s ranking. But it’s not the NC city with the highest obesity rate. That goes to a neighbor.

  • 24. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

    Charleston, South Carolina, USA skyline over the Ashley River.

    Total Score: 78.01

    Obesity & Overweight: 16

    Health Consequences: 57

    Food & Fitness: 29

    The good news Charleston? You are the healthiest of the SC cities. The bad news? Every NC city outranked you except for one.

  • 23. Winston-Salem, NC

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Downtown Skyline.

    Total Score: 78.10

    Obesity & Overweight: 57

    Health Consequences: 11

    Food & Fitness: 1

    Winston, the highest aka worst score in food & fitness is the reason you’re ranked 23rd.

  • 17. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC

    Myrtle beach Boardwalk south Carolina

    Total Score:  78.80

    Obesity & Overweight: 26

    Health Consequences: 28

    Food & Fitness: 25

    Coming in 17th overall and 3rd in South Carolina- Myrtle Beach. This tourist city had fairly consistent scores across the board.

  • 15. Greenville-Anderson, SC

    Drone Aerial of the Downtown Greenville, South Carolina SC Skyline

    Total Score: 78.80

    Obesity & Overweight: 27

    Health Consequences: 34

    Food & Fitness: 10

    And second, goes to Greenville. This trendy city seems to be attracting a younger demographic so this is a little surprising to me.

  • 10. Columbia, SC

    Columbia, South Carolina, USA downtown city skyline from Finlay Park at dusk.

    Total Score: 81.64

    Obesity & Overweight: 17

    Health Consequences: 16

    Food & Fitness: 7

    Never would I have guessed the most unhealthy city in the Carolinas was Columbia. But the capital city came in 10th out of the 100 different cities ranked and scored by WalletHub.

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