Life Style

Buncombe County’s “big” problem

By Clint Parker

Buncombe County – County residents have a big problem. “Big” is the problem. According to a survey by a weight loss website that surveyed over 1,300 Buncombe County residents about their weight and found while county residents are not as overweight as the rest of the state or country, there’s still not much room to brag.

According to the survey Buncombe men have a body mass index (BMI) of 31.1 and women have an average BMI of 30.7. According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute anyone with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese. A BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal.

The survey concludes that the average resident of the county could stand to lose a whopping 54.1 pounds whereas the average resident of North Carolina needs to lose 59.7 pounds. The average US citizen needs to lose 59 pounds. So how much does the average county resident weigh? The survey says men average 216 pounds where as women average about 187 pounds.

In Buncombe, the average age of obese men is 47. The average BMI for males is approximately 1% higher than female, and the average age of obese women is 44.

“According to the World Health Organization, as of 2014, the United States (US) average BMI ranked 17th out of more than 200 countries. This means only 16 other countries, of those tested, averaged higher BMIs than the US,” says the survey. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs up this data, reporting nearly 40 percent of the population (about 93 million people) in the US were obese as of 2015-16.”

Summer Banks, Director of Content for a nutrition and weight-loss content website called DietSpotlight, said “Bottom line is we just completed a two-year study on obesity and weight loss in Buncombe County, which includes 1,370 participants. The study identifies rates and trends in BMI, activity level and preferred diet programs (Keto, Atkins, etc) over time and shows how these correlate to gender, age and even specific neighborhoods in Buncombe County.” The website gets over 30 million visitors annually and was launched 10 years ago.

Banks related to the Tribune that, “…all data was collected through a voluntary survey form on our website and participants did not receive compensation. All information is anonymous.” To learn more about weight loss, health and wellness go to

Editor’s note: The reporter of this article recently lost more than 30 pounds on a Keto diet. It is recommended that anyone looking to change their diet and lose weight consult with a physician before doing so.

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune