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Hamburgers represent Northern Plains states above national obesity rate of 27.1 percent. Salads represent Northern Plains states below the national average. Butter represents the fattest state, Mississippi. Belt and buckle represents South Dakota as highest obesity rate in region. Green states are top 10 states below national rate. (Northern Plains News graphic)

SD the buckle of the fat belt on the Northern Plains?

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If the Northern Plains had a fat belt, South Dakota would be the buckle, according to a new study by Gallup.

While not in the bottom 10 states nationally for obesity, South Dakota — in the middle of the Northern Plains — has an obesity rate of 28.3 percent of the population, with Iowa a slim 0.2 points behind South Dakota in fatness.

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The national obesity average, according to Gallup, is 27.1 percent. South Dakota's twin, North Dakota, came in under the national average at 26.0 percent.

According to the polling firm, this is the highest rate measured since Gallup and Healthways began tracking in 2008. Further, according to Gallup, the obesity rate increased by nearly a full percentage point over the average rate of 26.2 percent found in 2012.

Meanwhile, Minnesota and Montana have been hitting the gym and watching what they eat. Montana had the lowest obesity rate at a svelte 19.6 percent and Minnesota at 22.0.

While the Northern Plains tended toward the heavy side, it was nothing compared to the Southeast, where seven of the heaviest states lie. Mississippi ranked last at 35.4 percent obesity.

Northern Plains states' percentages: South Dakota, 28.3 percent; Iowa, 28.1 percent; Wyoming, 27.8 percent; Nebraska, 27.2 percent; North Dakota, 26.0 percent; Minnesota, 22.0 percent; and Montana, 19.6 percent.

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