Every single New Mexico county has become fatter over 10 years, finds study (county breakdown included).

  • Colfax County residents have gained the most weight (13% more obese).
  • Eddy County has gained the least weight (3%).
  • Infographic included showing which states are the biggest losers (of lbs).

At the end of NBC’s first ‘The Biggest Loser’ season, the winning contestant had lost 122 pound (37% of his body weight).

A study of contestants’ weight loss over a 6-year period after the show found that they had kept off 30% if their original bodyweight. Unfortunately, when it comes to America’s obesity crisis, life does not imitate reality TV. Warnings about America’s obesity epidemic are nothing new…

Statistics show that a sharp increase in obesity rates began in the 1980s, yet public health campaigns since have, it seems, not resulted in reductions in people’s waistlines. That is, according to a comprehensive study by BarBend.com, the world’s leading strength training resource and news outlet, which identified obesity levels over the past 10 years in counties across The Land of Enchantment.

The analysis of data available by County Health Rankings compared each county’s rate of obesity in 2012 to newly released figures in 2022. The study found that every single one of New Mexico’s 10 counties became more obese over a decade. Colfax County became a whopping 13% more obese.

A closer look at the data…

The top 5 New Mexico counties that have fared best over the past 10 years:

1) Eddy: 3% more obese.

2) McKinley: 3% more obese.

3) Lea: 4% more obese.

4) Los Alamos: 5% more obese.

5) Otero: 5% more obese.


The bottom 5 New Mexico counties that have fared worst over the past 10 years:

29) San Miguel: 10% more obese.

30) Santa Fe: 11% more obese.

31) De Baca: 12% more obese.

32) Mora: 12% more obese.

33) Colfax: 13% more obese.


(Full breakdown of New Mexico county rankings available here).

Infographic showing state obesity levels

A look at the national figures…

Overall, New Mexico emerged in position #50 when it came to ranking states in order of their obesity change over the last 10 years, with a 8% increase.

The top 5 states that have fared best over the past 10 years:

1) Florida: flat.

2) Massachusetts: 1% more obese.

3) New Jersey: 1% more obese.

4) Washington: 1% more obese.

5) California: 2% more obese.

The bottom 5 states that have fared worst over the past 10 years:

46) Kansas: 6% more obese.

47) North Dakota: 6% more obese.

48) Arizona: 7% more obese.

49) West Virginia: 7% more obese.

50) New Mexico: 8% more obese.

When broken down across all counties in America…

The saying that ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ likely originated as a reference to the enormity of the state’s geographical area. However, it could also be applied to the state’s obesity levels. When analyzed nationally, four Texas counties occupy the bottom five for growth in obesity levels. These are:

3,139) Presidio (TX): 20% more obese than in 2012.

3,138) Pennington (SD): 19%

3,137) Hidalgo (TX): 18%

3,136) Starr (TX): 18%

3,135) Zavala (TX): 16%

Four out of the five biggest losers (those who have become less obese over the past decade) are in South Dakota (the only other being in Alaska):

1) Shannon (SD): 10% less obese than in 2012.

2) Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan (AK): 8%

3) Edmunds (SD): 5%

4) Hyde (SD): 5%

5) Roberts (SD): 5%


The data clearly shows that, despite the warnings from public health officials, our lifestyles are becoming more sedentary and as a nation, we are becoming more obese,” says Max Whiteside of BarBend.com. “Obesity increases the risk of developing many diseases, and this is a crisis which is trending in the wrong direction.”