SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — New research by WalletHub ranks Georgia 16th out of 20 among the most overweight states and 14th out of 51 states with the highest obesity rate.

“More than seven in 10 adults in the U.S. over age 20 are overweight or obese,” said Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst.

The research comes amid November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, as obesity is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Overweight and obese Americans are at high risk of diabetes, which is defined by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.

Over time, diabetes can lead to vision loss and kidney and heart disease. While 38.3 million or 11.6% of Americans have diabetes, the CDC notes that around 96 million U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, 38%, have prediabetes.

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This is defined as a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal.

“Being an unhealthy weight is especially dangerous as we head into the inevitable surge of flu and COVID-19 cases over the winter,” said Happe.

“Now is an ideal time for people to start eating healthier and exercising more.”

Advice for overweight and obese Americans: