Results from a Gallup poll measuring obesity rates across the U.S. in 2013 were released last week, revealing that only 21 percent of Nevadans are obese—the third-lowest rate in the nation, behind Montana and Colorado.
Considering how often the Silver State lands on the less desirable end of lists and surveys, we were interested in finding out just how much faith we should put into this bright spot of news.
“This [survey] is different than several that are done by the [federal government]. The ones done by our government have come up with different answers,” says registered dietitian Karen Spears, an assistant professor at UNLV. “The most prevalent one that’s used is called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System … It’s the most common one that is referred to on obesity rates.”
The 2012 BRFSS found Nevada’s obesity rate to be only slightly higher than the Gallup poll did (2013 rates are not yet available), at 26 percent. It’s important to note, though, that the BRFSS data ranks Nevada as the 17th least-obese state in the nation—a far cry from No. 3.
Still, both surveys indicate that the obesity rate here is lower than that of the national average—and, according to Gallup, a full 14 percentage points below No. 1 Mississippi. It feels good to not be in Mississippi right now, doesn’t it?