SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi is the fattest state in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
, nearly 35 percent of all Mississippians are obese. It is the second straight year Mississippi has topped the list.
"It is kind of amazing, kind of shocking. Really," said Tamara Stewart as she shopped in Southaven.
According the CDC, Arkansas finished seventh, and Tennessee was tied for 15th.
In Hernando, there is a push to reverse the ranking.
The city not only offers free physicals for city employees, it now pays employees up to four hours of pay to go get the physical.
"I am very worried about our employees' access to healthcare," said Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson. "Anything we can do to make it easier for them to go to the doctor is something we should be doing."
"We do have a duty to provide an opportunity and an atmosphere for good health," he added.
Mayor Johnson hopes the four hours of pay actually saves the city money in the long run.
The CDC estimates obesity-related medical costs hit $147 billion last year.