Americans are continuing to pack on the pounds. A recent Gallup poll says that, to date, the U.S. obesity rate is 26.5 percent, a bit higher than the 25.5 percent reported two years ago.
The poll also reveals that at 34 percent, West Virgina has the highest obesity levels in the country. Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas aren't far behind, all with obesity levels of at least 32 percent. Generally speaking, states in the South and Midwest tend to have the highest obesity rates.
In addition to high obesity levels, the poll also found that those states also have more patients being diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that high blood pressure is often referred to as a "silent killer" because the condition can arise without symptoms. People with high blood pressure may end up paying more for life insurance because the condition is linked to other serious conditions, such as a stroke. Experts advise people to limit their sodium consumption and exercise regularly to help control their blood pressure levels.