The Fast and the Fittest 50

By Roxy Fata

Being fit and staying healthy have always been challenging, especially if you live in an area where there aren’t many gyms or healthy food options immediately available to you. However, accessing information about healthy diets or exercise has never been more convenient or instantaneous. The only catch? Information about unhealthy options, such as fast food or recipes to satisfy our sweet tooth, is just as readily accessible. In a world where both healthy and unhealthy options are just a search away, we wanted to know who in the country was looking for fast food the most, and which areas of America were exploring healthy choices the most. To find out, we looked at Google search volume data all across the country to examine the healthy habits (or lack thereof) of each state.

States Using Google to Find Fast Food

Fast food cravings can come on in an instant. Whether you’ve had a night out at the bars or you’re just not feeling like cooking or doing any dishes after a long day at work, fast food is quick, easy, cheap and let’s face it: delicious. Fast food can also be very unhealthy and has been said to contribute to the rising levels of obesity and heart disease in the US.

According to our data dive, the most Googled fast food chains in the United States are Dominos, followed by McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Olive Garden and finally, Burger King. We wanted to know: Which states in the country are searching the most on Google for information about fast food restaurants? Here’s what we found.

The top fast food searchers in the country were Florida, followed surprisingly by Colorado—which you typically think of as the outdoor adventure state. In third place was Texas, followed by Nevada and Virginia, which came in at no. 5. Other fast food-crazed states were Arizona at no. 6 with Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio rounding out the top 10. The rest of the top 25 were Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, South Carolina, Kansas, Indiana, Delaware, California, Minnesota, Washington, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Nebraska.

Which states rarely if ever Googled fast food chains? The bottom 10 states were Idaho, which came in at 41, followed by New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Vermont, and finally, Alaska.

Unsurprisingly, many of the states searching for fast food were located in the southeastern region of the country, but there were some interesting standouts such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky, which all had low search volume for fast food but aren’t states that are normally touted as having healthy citizens. Some other surprises were ultra-healthy California coming in at no. 18 and Virginia coming in at no. 5 (which may be attributed to late night snacks from all those who work in Washington D.C.).

States Using Google to Make Healthy Choices

The internet has a bevy of information on the latest health fads, new exercises to try before swimsuit season and inspirational quotes to help you keep focused at the gym. According to the data, the most Googled fitness keywords in the country were heavily gym related and were Planet Fitness, YMCA, Anytime Fitness, Crossfit, Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Orange Theory, Equinox, and a general “Healthy Food.” We wanted to know: Which states out there are searching the most for these terms, and which states could care less about Googling healthy trends?

Shocking to no one, the state that is the busiest Googling healthy keywords was California, followed by Florida, Arizona, Texas, Washington, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia and Rhode Island, which came in at no. 10 in the data. Other health-obsessed states were New Jersey at no. 11, which led states like Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina coming in at no. 20. The rest of the top 25 healthy searching states were Ohio, Connecticut, Nevada, Hawaii and Indiana.

The states who rarely if ever Googled healthy search terms were Maine, which came in at no. 41, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Arkansas, Wyoming, Mississippi, Alaska, South Dakota and finally, Montana.

In this data compiling, we also found that the most confused states—states that were Googling both fast food and fitness—were Florida, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and Georgia, which means maybe they are literally trying to have their cake and eat it too (after a brief gym session, of course).