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These Are the 50 Unhealthiest Cities in the World

While the World Health Organization has recently declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic, another health problem that has become a global threat is obesity. Obesity is a disease that refers to an abnormal or excessive amount of body fat. It is caused by an imbalance in the intake and expenditure of calories.

Did you know that about 30% of the world’s population suffers from obesity and being overweight? It was once considered a problem only in high-income countries, but these two billion people now come from different places around the globe. The weight problem poses a significant health risk to people. It can lead to a multitude of other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and many more. Find out if you are living in one of the least healthy cities in the world. 

This city in Georgia is among the top ten “fattest cities” in the United States. 

Augusta is certainly a part of this list since it has the second-highest percentage of adults who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. 

Yes, beignets can be good for the soul, but it is not necessarily good for the bodies of Baton Rouge residents. 

This Louisiana metropolitan area actually has the fifth-highest percentage of physically inactive adults. 

Beckley is a pretty unhealthy place to live in, as almost half of its residents do not exercise and more than one-fifth of them like to smoke. 

In addition to that, 34% of the adults are obese.

Studies have found that South Africa’s capital city has the least-healthy citizens—they have the lowest amount of fruit and vegetable intake and the highest consumption of sugary foods and drinks. 

Bloemfontein also has the second-lowest level of exercise.

According to fitness app we:bo, Boston was among the top five “fattest cities” in the United Kingdom in 2017. 

One out of three citizens was categorized obese or overweight.

The city of Bradford had the highest diabetes prevalence in the United Kingdom in 2018. 

Among those with Type 2 diabetes, 90% were obese or overweight.

This Texan city is dealing with a major health crisis, as Health Affairs reports that four out of five children are overweight.

To make matters worse, one-third of them have diabetes, and more than half of Brownsville residents do not have health insurance.

In the southwest of Florida, one of its cities is considered an unhealthy place to reside in. 

According to Data USA, 39% of the adults in Cape Coral were determined to be obese and 16.9% of them have diabetes.

Catfish, barbecue, hushpuppy—Chattanooga has a great list of its famous foods and it just might be the reason why almost half of Chattanoogans were reported to be overweight by Times Free Press. Meanwhile, 18.6% of its teenagers are obese.

Known for being “famously hot,” there are a number of things to do in Columbia to match its summer temperature.

Although it looks like losing weight is not one of them as South Carolina’s capital ranked number 14 in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list.

Aside from Augusta, another unhealthy city to live in the state of Georgia is Columbus. 

The obesity rate of adults sits at 30.6%, while the diabetes rate is 12.5%.

Copeland is one of the least healthy places in the world, given that three out of four adults are overweight or obese. 

A major cause of that might be because one-third of the adults in the city do not engage in physical activities.

Dubbed as “The Real Windy City,” Corpus Christi might as well be called a real unhealthy city. 

More than 34% of its adults are obese, and 24% do not exercise, according to CallerTimes. 

Michigan’s largest and most populous city has one of the highest numbers of adults suffering from obesity. 

Detroit also faces high blood pressure issues, which eventually led to major changes in its healthcare.

Doncaster comes second on the list of cities with the highest obesity rate in England, according to Telegraph. This city has 74.4% of overweight or obese adults.

Fort Smith is definitely among the unhealthiest cities because it has the highest rate of smokers in the nation. 

The fact that almost one-third of its adults do not exercise could very well explain why 36.5% of them are overweight.

This mining town is considered to be Canada’s second-most obese city. Greater Sudbury has a third of its adults found to be obese. 

Hammond faces its own health problems since two out of its five residents are obese. 

This is a challenge for the city because it only has half as many primary care physicians per capita compared to the rest of the nation.

A recent study found that more than half of Hong Kong residents over the age of 15 are obese or overweight. 

Data also showed that 60% of them suffered from health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

This city has somehow improved since being on top of the list back in 2017. 

Although up until now, Jackson has an elevated number of adults with high blood pressure.

Aside from streaking, Knoxville is also known for not being healthy. 

According to TheStreet, it ranked 10th in highest obesity rate and 19th in health consequences. 

With restaurants on almost every corner of the city, it might not come as a surprise that Lafayette is included in the list. 

It was the 11th “fattest city” in 2019 and third for the highest percentage of inactive adults. 

Laredo, Texas is also one of the least healthy cities in the world. According to Laredo Morning Times, 17% of the citizens smoke and 27% are physically inactive. 

On top of that, almost a third of its residents are obese. 

Arkansas’ capital has improved since being the “fattest city” back in 2015, but there is so much room for improvement as Little Rock currently has the third-highest percentage in adults with high blood pressure and adults who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

From ranking eighth in the previous year, Louisville has come down to 17th among the “fattest cities” in the country. 

However, childhood obesity is on the rise in Kentucky. Twenty percent of teens in the state actually qualify as obese.

A very high number of Lubbock residents suffer from heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. 

There is also a prevalence of cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases in the city.

This British city is currently dealing with a childhood obesity issue. More than 30% of children have been found to be overweight or obese.

According to ABC News, Mackay was the least healthy city in Australia last year. 

Because 83.4% of its adults are obese or overweight, the government has considered adding sugar tax. 

England’s second city also has a childhood obesity problem. Studies have shown that 12,000 school-aged children were overweight while another 2,500 were considered obese from 2016 to 2017.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this probably includes people’s waistbands. 

Ranked as the “fattest city” in the United States by WalletHub, the McAllen metropolitan area has the highest percentage of obese and physically inactive adults. 

Memphis residents do not only love cooking but also love eating. This Tennessee city was ranked third in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list. 

It had the fifth-highest percentage of obese adults.

The city of Mobile has risen on top for health consequences due to obesity—the population struggles with weight-related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart diseases.

Montgomery is known for many of its historic and cultural landmarks, but it might as well be famous for having more obese citizens compared to both the state and national levels. 

The female obesity rate is 45%, while the male obesity rate is 36%.

Although notorious for being the “Music City,” WalletHub also believes that Nashville is one of the “fattest cities”—18th to be exact. 

This city has 24.7% of adults classifying as overweight or obese. 

The state of Louisiana, in general, is among the unhealthiest in America. Another one of its cities, New Orleans, had the second-highest percentage of adults living with diabetes in 2019.

In American Samoa’s capital, a whopping 94% of the adults are categorized as obese. It might be because most food in this territory is expensive and fast-food chains offer a cheap alternative for hungry families.

Port Elizabeth ranked second in the lowest “healthy weight” in South Africa. This holiday destination came second again for the consumption of sugary food and drinks.

The city of Pretoria is among the last in the country’s “healthy weight” category. Its residents also have the lowest score in both sleep quality and physical activity.

Another city in Texas is considered one of the least healthy cities in the world. San Antonio ranked 12th in obesity and 19th in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list.

This California city has the highest rate of students with an unhealthy body composition, with San Bernardino City school district topping the charts. On the other hand, adult obesity rate sits at 34%.

The province of Saskatchewan has the highest obesity rates in Canada. In the city of Saskatoon alone, 31% of the adults were categorized as obese and overweight.

Saint John is not only Canada’s oldest incorporated city, but also the “fattest city” in the country. Studies showed that 38.1% of adults in the city are obese, which is higher than the national average of 24.8%.

Heading back again to the state of Louisiana, the city of Shreveport came second in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list. Its residents are not the biggest fans of salad, as they have the highest percentage of people with low fruit and vegetable intake. 

Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital and largest city had 65.9% of its adults self-report to be overweight or obese from 2013 to 2014. However, the percentage of adults who are obese or overweight in St. John’s is actually higher at 67.5%. 

It is no wonder that the Royal Society for Public Health ranked Sunderland as the county’s fifth-unhealthiest city given that it has a high number of fast-food restaurants. 

The “Glass Capital of the World” has the second-highest percentage of obese adults. Toledo was placed on the eighth spot in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list.

Oklahoma’s second-largest city needs improvement in their general health, as it ranked third in obesity. Tulsa was placed at 12th spot in WalletHub’s 2019 Fattest U.S. Cities list.

Even though Wallasey is not referred to as England’s “fat capital” anymore, this city remains unhealthy. In 2016, hospitals in this city reported 10,000 cases of people coming in, with obesity being their primary problem. 

This is quite expected already since Kansas has the 12th highest obesity rate in adults in the United States. Wichita is actively working on lowering obesity rates in children as well.

Last but not necessarily the least healthy city, Winston-Salem has the obesity rate in children on the rise. WalletHub also listed this North Carolina city as one of the least-healthy places in the United States.


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