Wednesday, August 30, 2006


It turns out that southerners are fat and getting fatter, this according to a new report featured in The Washington Times.

Biscuit-loving folks down South won't be too hungry for the news: They're the plumpest in America. The stout South is home to nine of the 10 fattest states in the land, according to a new report released yesterday by the Trust for America's Health.
The "Biggest Belt" belongs to Mississippi, followed by Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana -- the lone northerner -- South Carolina, and finally Texas.

West Virginians too?  Not only are we West Virginians on the list but we're THIRD?  How depressing. But things aren't exactly thin elsewhere either...

Nationwide, 31 states had a greater percentage of their residents classified as obese in this year's report than last year's.
"America's obesity epidemic is getting worse," said Jeff Levi, director of the District-based group, which analyzed state obesity reports and criticized the lack of government policy, community planning and cultural influences that could help slim the nation. This year's study covered figures from 2003 to 2005.

So who's to blame for the increased fattiness of our great nation? This report states that:

The report named 43 influential "fat factors" for Americans, from gargantuan restaurant portions and commuting to sedentary workplaces and the sheer stress of modern-day life. Even crumbling sidewalks and unsafe parks were cited for their failure to promote walking or outdoor play.

While all this may play a part, I'm just sure that Food Network's Paula Dean (of Paula's Homecookin') and her buttery, fried food (which she almost always then covers with powdered sugar, syrup, chocolete sauce or some combination of the three) could be solely responsible for our ballooned figures, or she and her cuisine should at least be included in the the 43 "fat factors" mentioned above.


Dave over at The Crisper says this is an inaccurate report which will be exploited to attempt to implement a food tax.

I challenge that number as totally inaccurate and useless. It’s merely a bullet point that allows news shows and reporters to make all kinds of noise, and in turn, scare much of America. It makes for a great “lead” on a news story....

While I do believe we have a society that is addicted to sugar and could use a lot of help in the nutrition and preventive medicine department, I also believe many are using trumped-up numbers to call for government solutions (such as more PE, which doesn't work). I’m a strong advocate for personal responsibility, and when I see so many people using bad stats to call for more government I’m certainly going to stand up and make sure my “NO” is on the record.

This gives the Food Police heavy ammunition for such great ideas as a “Fat Tax” or better yet…a ban on fries.

Interesting take.  No doubt about it Americans (myself included--though I'm trying to change this) are too heavy, but I do think that any scale that says Arnold "the Governator" Schwarzenegger is obese is severely flawed, or at least needs to be reexamined. 

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