Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fattest States in America

Posted by Mandy at 11:32 AM
I heard a news report on the radio this morning that mentioned the fattest, and fittest, states in America. What a shocker! As usual, our good ole southern states are overall the most unhealthy and the most obese. *that's an award I could do without* The fattest state of all, again, was Mississippi. This is the fifth year in a row this state has miserably failed in this area, with 32.5% of adults being obese. (I take the report to mean that this percentage doesn't even calculate people that are simply overweight.)

My home state, Arkansas, was #10 in having the most obese adults. According to this report:

Washington, D.C., July 1, 2009 - Arkansas has the 10th highest rate of adult obesity in the nation, at 28.6 percent and the second highest of overweight youths (ages 10-17) at 37.5 percent, according to a new report by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

To see how your state ranks, check here.

Colorado is, once again, the #1 fittest state. Go Buffaloes! Only 18.9% of their adults are obese. You guys should be proud! (notice the "you guys" and not y'all...) I have family up and over that way, and yes, they look great! I don't see how with  Aunt Gena's cooking.. but they do.

This makes me wonder, "What do they got that we ain't got?" in good CO? Besides mountains, hiking trails, bike paths everywhere, and leaders of their state that give a hoo about health and fitness... oh wait... maybe that's it?

I look around my city, that I do love, and shake my head. As many families as we have here - there is almost nothing here to cater to us. Our city park is okay, but the "walking trail" is a big joke. It's way too narrow, it floods in parts, and it isn't smooth in the least. No way can kids safely bike or roller blade there... much less adults. 

Our one really nice track is open to the public but is property of the school district. No wheels of any kind (no strollers, bikes, wagons, skates, etc) and no pets. So, if you want to walk your dog - not there. If you want to push your stroller on a non-flooded, smooth surface - sorry. Some of our busiest streets have incomplete or no sidewalks. The options are pretty much drive or get run over. You pick.

It's really no wonder we southerners are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to competitions of health and fitness.

Fast food here is pretty much your typical circle of grease on a bun. Fast-food companies have tried to trick us into thinking they care about healthy by including salads on their menus - but have you taken the time to look at the nutrition labels? Most of them are WORSE than ordering yourself a box of happiness like your kids.

Food prices are insane right now. The poorest of people suffer the most here.

The Government LOVES being in the middle of everything.. but they haven't yet figured out a way for food stamps to not cover Hot Pockets and other foods that are full of fat, calories, and offer almost nothing in the way of nutrition? Wouldn't showing people that the Government supports "these" healthy foods likely go a long way in helping people learn about the better choices? It isn't always easy to pick the right foods! Where's the support and direction?

Now that I've taken some time to blame Big Brother for our fatness... let's take another minute to put the blame back on ourselves.

Yes, food prices are crazy - but fresh fruits and veggies really still are not that expensive. Bananas, apples, celery, carrots, cucumbers, fresh green beans, and lettuce are pretty darn cheap. I can buy organic celery for less than I can buy each of my kids a candy at the check-out line. Spending my money on produce means I avoid buying pre-made or packaged foods like frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets, and any other microwavable meals. It's a trade-off.

 Am I the only one that thinks all of the constant talk about why we're all so fat is just talk? Where's the ACTION? What's really being done to stop this epidemic? Where's the public fear of our children dying at much younger ages than any generation before due to unhealthy weight and eating? Where is the realization that this is a very serious problem and it hits us not just on the health front, but the financial front as well with skyrocketing insurance costs?

Is it really the Governments responcibility at all to make us be healthy - or are we passing the buck to avoid taking the blame ourselves?


The (Un)Experienced Mom on Wednesday, 18 November, 2009 said...

I agree. Lots of talk but limited action on it! And I am refusing to see where my state is on the list. I am afraid!

Wanted to let you know the post linking to your "web traffic" post is going to be posted tomorrow!

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