Amid the growing obesity problem in the United States, Wyoming’s … not doing that bad.

That’s a less than ringing endorsement from the Trust for America’s Health, which for the past 16 years has published its “State of Obesity” report. In its latest report, the Trust found that Wyoming has the 37th highest rate of obesity (29%) in the United States, putting it close to other Mountain West states like Idaho, which was 39th at 28.4%.

In the bottom half is good, right? Kind of. Having more than a quarter of the state be obese isn’t stellar, no matter what the rates are across the country. And Wyoming has 64.4% of adults who self-report as overweight or obese.

Though Wyoming was one of just nine states whose obesity rates grew less than 5% between 2013 and 2018, the report points out some alarming facts for rural areas.

“More than one-third (34.2 percent) of adults in rural areas had self-reported obesity compared with 28.7 percent of metro adults,” the report says. “Rural areas also have higher levels of obesity-associated chronic diseases.”

The report also found that rural men are twice as likely to be obese than their urban counterparts. It found that increases in education level and income correlated with lower incidences of obesity.

Teton County is doing better than the state overall. According to Network of Care, a website that aggregates health data, between 2013 and 2017 the county had a 10% obesity rate, far below the state’s mark of 29%. However, that was an almost 2 percentage point increase from the 8.3% obesity rate the county had between 2011 and 2015.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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