Grand Strand ranks 6th in America's most obese metro areas

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Grand Strand area is know for it's long stretch of beaches, tourist attractions and year-round fun-loving atmosphere.

But an article recently posted online is bringing attention to another aspect the Grand Strand may not be too proud to own up to.

According to a survey conducted by Gallup and Healthways of the top 189 metropolitan areas, the Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway metro fell in the top ten for having residents most likely to be obese.

In fact, the Grand Strand ranked number six! The survey shows the obesity rate in 2012 was 33.1 percent, and residents with high blood pressure reached 40.9 percent, the third highest in the nation.

And only 55.8 percent of residents in the Grand Strand exercised regularly. That combined with a 18.9 percent poverty rate and only 24.4 percent of the population having at least a bachelors degree is what landed the Grand Strand in sixth place.

The survey said, "As many as 21.7% of the population did not have health insurance in 2011, the second worst rate in the country and almost triple the national average. Access to affordable, healthy food is inadequate in the areas in and around both Myrtle Beach and Conway."

Most obese metropolitan areas in America in 2012

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
  2. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
  3. Little Rock-N Little Rock-Conway, AR
  4. Mobile, AL
  5. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV
  6. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC
  7. Toledo, OH
  8. Charleston, WV
  9. Reading, PA
  10. Erie, PA

Least obese metropolitan areas in America in 2012

  1. Boulder, CA
  2. Charlottesville, VA
  3. Bellingham, WA
  4. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
  5. Naples-Marco Island, FL
  6. Denver-Aurora, CO
  7. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
  8. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA
  9. Madison, WI
  10. Colorado Springs, CO

You can check out the full list and see how the rest of the country faired in this article - http://www.gallup.com/poll/161717/boulder-remains-least-obese-metro-area.aspx - then jump over to the WMBF News Facebook fan page and let us know if you agree with the Grand Strand's ranking.

WMBF News Reporter Will Whitson will have a full report on this survey on WMBF News at 4.

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