The Washington Post

Mississippians are the fattest people in the nation, and also have the hardest time getting fed

A couple days ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put out its annual food security report, measuring the number of Americans who have a hard time getting enough to eat. The topline numbers are pretty depressing: Though other economic indicators like employment and wages have been steadily creeping back from the depths of the recession, food insecurity remains basically as high as it's ever been.

Being "food insecure," though, doesn't necessarily mean you're underweight: Both occasional lack of adequate nutrition and obesity track closely with poverty. That perhaps explains why Mississippi — the state with the highest poverty rate, at 22.8 percent — also has both the highest food insecurity rate (20.9 percent) and the highest obesity rate (34.6 percent). It also has the second-highest concentration of fast food cooks, after Arkansas, which comes in right after Mississippi in the obesity rankings.

Chew on that.

Lydia DePillis is a reporter focusing on labor, business, and housing. She previously worked at The New Republic and Washington City Paper. She's from Seattle.
Show Comments

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.