Owsley men most likely in U.S. to be obese, Perry women most likely to die; Morgan women led nation in increasing exercise

Men in Owsley County are the fattest in the United States, and women in Perry County have the lowest life expectancy, 72, according to an NBC News report based on data assembled by the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which has developed a county-by-county, interactive map of obesity, physical activity, high blood pressure and life expectancy from 2001 to 2011.

In 2011, according to the map, 46.9 percent of men in Owsley County were obese. Women in the county were even fatter, at 53 percent, but that was well under the highest female-obesity county in the nation, Issaquena County, Mississippi, where 59.3 percent of women were obese.

Owsley was also the county where men were least likely to report that they get sufficient exercise, only 33.1 percent. But a nearby county, Morgan, was the one where weekly exercise increased the most in any U.S. county from 2001 to 2011 — from 18.3 percent to 44 percent.

Several counties adjoining or near Owsley ranked almost as high in obesity, creating a cluster of high-fat counties in Central Appalachia. Here are the pertinent parts of the 2011 maps, with male obesity on the left and female on the right; for the interactive map, click here.

Female obesity rates by county, 2011
Male obesity rates by county, 2011

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