Healthy and low cost is very possible: think dried beans, canned beans, canned or frozen vegetables, in-season fresh fruits and vegetables. Soak overnight and cook in a slow cooker with your favorite spices for 8 hours. It may seem like a money saving idea but if you get 3-4 items, you have just spent more than you could on a healthy meal prepared at home from fresh ingredients.

In light of National Nutrition Month, Wallet Hub’s analysts compared 100 of the most populated U. metro areas to identify those where weight-related problems call for heightened attention.

This report takes a more holistic approach to problems related to weight by not only accounting for both “overweight” and “obese” residents but also including a total of 14 key metrics, ranging from “percentage of physically inactive adults” to “percentage of adults eating fewer than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.” Scroll down to see the fattest and thinnest cities, expert commentary on America’s growing weight problem and a full description of our methodology.

For additional insight and advice, we asked a panel of experts to shed light on obesity-related issues and how best to tackle them.

Click on the experts’ profiles to read their bios and responses to the following key questions: What are some tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank?

Healthy foods in vending, in the break room, and in the cafeteria; policies about what to bring for shared meals; policies about when and where workers can be active; discounts on health insurance for positive health behaviors; are all steps in the right direction.

What policies should government pursue to combat obesity and rein in the cost of healthcare? Could we subsidize healthy foods as we have corn and soy?To be described “overweight” or “obese” — although these are medical terms — is unflattering on a personal level.But even more embarrassing is when your entire nation sits dead last on a global obesity scale.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults and about 17 percent of young people were obese in 2012. Our wallets, on the other hand, have grown lighter as the economic and societal costs of the extra pounds continue to rise.By one estimate, Americans spend up to 5.8 billion annually on obesity-related medical treatment, elevating health-care costs exponentially for obese adults and children compared with healthier individuals.Hence, policy efforts should focus on altering the landscape, not on scapegoating individuals.