Top 10 states for New Year's weight loss plan signups
Click here to see infographic in high resolution.
When Americans make the resolution to lose weight every year, some head off to the gym to tone their bodies, while others sign up for weight loss programs to change their diets. Bye, bye holiday pie. Hello, Weight Watchers.
We're continuing this month's resolutions theme (see last week's report on gym signups here) by looking at which states have the highest increase in signups for two weight loss programs — Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig — during the first two weeks of January based on data we have from last year.
According to our data, Mississippi is the number one state with the highest percentage of residents committing to weight loss programs during the first two weeks of the New Year. Residents in Mississippi signed up for either Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers 2.83 times more than any other average two-week period in the year. Alabama came in second with residents signing up at a rate of 2.74 times higher than average. Check out our infographic above, or our slideshow to see which states ranked on our top 10 list.
So what's pushing Mississippians to weight loss programs during the New Year? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. In 2000, nearly half of the states in the U.S. had obesity rates below 20 percent:
In 2001, Mississippi was the first state in the U.S. where more than 25 percent of adults were obese:
Alabama and West Virginia were the next states to break 25 percent the following year:
By 2010, CDC data showed that more than half of the U.S. had obesity rates above 25 percent. Mississippi was the most obese state with 34 percent of residents considered obese. West Virginia and Alabama were next on the list with with respective obesity rates of 32.5 percent and 32.2 percent:
So it makes sense that the residents of the most obese state in the U.S. would also make a concerted effort during the New Year to lose that title and shed some pounds. In fact, five of the top 10 obese states in the U.S. — Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, and South Carolina — made it onto our top 10 list of the states with the highest increase in sign-ups for Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig during the first two weeks of the New Year. So, although our waistlines are getting bigger, we're actually trying to do something about it. Here's to a healthy and happy 2012.
Methodology: For this report, we looked at 44 states from March 2010 to April 2011 to see which states had the highest increase of residents signing up for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig during the first two weeks of January compared to any other average two-week period in the year. We excluded six states (North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii) because there was insufficient data for those states. It should be noted that those six states have also lower than average obesity rates, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We normalized the data, which comes from the U.S government, anonymous and aggregated credit card transactions from Citi, and third party data providers, based on the average number of people who sign up for Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig each year. More than 200,000 sign-ups were considered.
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