What are America’s fattest states?
America is facing an obesity problem — some even call it an epidemic.
Overwhelmingly, the obesity problem pops up in the Southern states. Annually, a group called The Trust for America’s Health conducts a study into percentages of obese and overweight people, comparing geographical areas of the country and identifying the fattest states and regions.
The news is grim this year — not a single state grew LESS obese, though there were shifts in the dubious lineup of “fattest states”.
Adult obesity percentage actually rose in 23 states — this means that an unbelievable two thirds of adults in America are seriously overweight or obese.
What are the reasons for America’s weight troubles?
For one, the economy. When times are hard, people are more likely to go for the dollar menu at the local fast food joint than spend time shopping and preparing what seem to be more expensive foods. Also, the foods that are better for us, like organic meats and vegetables, are naturally more expensive. How much easier is it to buy a pack of prefabricated hamburger patties than to invest in organic ground beef?
While the nasty economy is doing its share to harm the nation’s health and health care statistics, many states have actually improved their nutritional standards in school lunches and raised their expectations in terms of exercise in school gyms, so it is unclear why these changes aren’t working.
There is a certain element of the American population that is sedentary — when was the last time you saw a crowd of kids playing baseball in the park? Our dependence on computers and other convenience electronics may be contributing. I work from home — which means I don’t even have to walk more than twenty feet to work. If we don’t get our country back on track in terms of exercise and diet, the number of obese people will surely continue to grow.
Which states are the fattest? The top three are no surprise — Mississippi, Georgia, and Arkansas. These states have been in the bottom three for years, with just their exact position changing. Eleven of the twenty five worst states in terms of obesity are in the South including the three mentioned — the others are Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
Rounding out the bottom twenty-five are DC, Delware, New Jersey, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virignia, Virginia, New York, and Michigan.
As for the “healthy” states — Utah, Montana, and Minnesota. Other states that come in with decent scores are Colorado (with an active population committed to exercise), Oregon, California, and Maryland.
In general, states in the western part of the country and in New England rank lowest in the rankings for fattest states, while states in the South and the so called “Rust Belt” tend to rank highest. Interesting correlations between “blue” and “red” states and obesity levels are already being made, as are plenty of other red herrings that the news media can toss to the masses.