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Thread: America is fatter, and Mississississippi leads the way.

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    America is fatter, and Mississississippi leads the way.

    States ranked from Most Obesity (1st) to Least Obesity (51st) by the Trust for America's Health
    1: Mississippi*;
    2: Alabama;
    3: West Virginia;
    4: Louisiana*;
    5: Kentucky*;
    6: Tennessee;
    7: Arkansas*;
    8 (tie): Indiana*, South Carolina*;
    10: Texas;
    11: Michigan;
    12: Georgia*;
    13: Oklahoma*;
    14: Missouri*;
    15 (tie): Ohio*, Alaska;
    17: North Carolina*;
    18: North Dakota;
    19: Pennsylvania*;
    20: Nebraska*;
    21: Iowa;
    22: South Dakota*;
    23: Illinois*;
    24: Maryland*;
    25: Virginia;
    26: Kansas;
    27: Minnesota;
    28: Wisconsin*;
    29: Delaware*;
    30 California*;
    31 (tie): Idaho*, Washington*;
    33: Oregon*;
    34: Maine;
    35: Florida*;
    36 (tie): Wyoming*, New Hampshire*, New York;
    39: District of Columbia;
    40 (tie): New Jersey*, New Mexico*;
    42: Nevada; 43 (tie): Arizona, Utah*;
    45: Montana;
    46: Connecticut*;
    47 (tie): Rhode Island*, Vermont;
    49: Massachusetts*;
    50: Hawaii;
    51: Colorado.
    * indicates statistically significant increases
    So, where does your state rank?

    Notice any trends? Is every state in the Top Ten south of the Mason-Dixon line ('cept for the Hoosiers).

    Please comment.
    JOE ILIFF
    ________________________________________________________________________
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    "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    In general it seems that the states which are known for their outdoor opportunities are the least obese. That makes sense.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    There's certainly fat people in Colorado (except Boulder ) but I think the reason why the state is so "thin" is because the Rockies attracts others from throughout the country who are already outdoors-inclined, and much more likely to be athletic and thin. Basically, Colorado is sucking away thin people from other states.

    What about Massachusetts and Connecticut? Mostly urban and very affluent.

    Idaho, Washington, Oregon - outdoorsy. New Mexico - outdoorsy and poor.

    Wyoming? Much of the work is hard manual labor at oilfields, ranches, farms and mines. I noticed that men in Wyoming were generally fit, but women were usually on the large side.

    I don't know why Indiana would be so much "fatter" than the states that surround it. Michigan is up there, though; my politically incorrect guess is that inner city Detroit skews the results.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Hang-on... I need to put down my bucket of fried chicken and 72 oz. slurpie before I answer...

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Someone needs to get the numbers on depression by state, maybe the number of people treated for depression or the number of people in mental institutes....then....

    COMPARE the two lists........

    I guess what I'm saying is that people out EAST are more depressed than people in the West and that makes people fat......

    The bottom 21 states seem to be mostly in the west......or the "richer" eastern states...compare the income levels also.....


    Ok, discuss amongst yourselves....... Oh and I would appreciate it if someone else would do the work to prove my theory.....thanks....
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

  6. #6
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Good to see Montana ranks so low in the standings. Must be all those outdoor activiities and the fact we get paid so much less that we can't afford much food.

    Of course I grew up in Louisiana and lived in Mississippi. It is the food - etouffee, crawfish bisque, fried catfish with hush puppies, oyster po-boys, soft-shell crab po-boys, pies, cake, gumbo, and of course as hot as it is, you need to cool off with a cold six-pack of Dixie Beer.

    The numbers for California are probably skewed. Are those numbers before or after liposuction?
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  7. #7
    I'm going to need to see some regression analyses if there's corelation.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Indiana tied for 8th - Hey Gedunker what up with this ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I so feel like jumping in here with a hypothesis about how The South is still traumatized and trying to heal from the aftermath of The War of Nothuhn Agression....but I have the feeling no one would find it funny and no one would understand that it might have some grain of truth to it.







    runs and ducks for cover

  10. #10
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    51. Colorado....
    That's right, Bitches!
    How you like me know!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  11. #11
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    How you like me know!
    "Pan fried with a side of ranch dressing," replied Mississippi.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    It would be interesting to compare obesity to nutritionally-related diseases. New Mexico ranked pretty low, but we have major problems with diabetes, for example. This is a complex thing, a mixture of changing dietary habits crossed with genetic propensity. Within our state, I would guess that the poorest are more likely to be overweight and have diabetes (which is probably the case in most places).

    My thesis (unfinished) deals with trail development in a community that has been the focus of various programs to address nutritionally-related diseases (primarily diabetes) through activity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Program, Safe Routes to Schools (promoting children walking and biking to school) and the Albuquerque Alliance for Active Living are all working in the same neighborhood on this one issue. I am trying to tie it together with a trail system that links residents with local shopping districts, churches, and schools.

    So, even though we don't look so big, we've still got big-body problems.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    It would be interesting to compare obesity to nutritionally-related diseases. New Mexico ranked pretty low, but we have major problems with diabetes, for example. This is a complex thing, a mixture of changing dietary habits crossed with genetic propensity. Within our state, I would guess that the poorest are more likely to be overweight and have diabetes (which is probably the case in most places).
    And black americans are generally poorer and often obese because of it. I have to wonder what part that plays in the obesity in the south stats. Also, conversely, I have to wonder if people who just can't hack it more financially competitive areas of the countries (ie where cost of living is generally higher) migrate to the cheaper states so they can afford to live on a lower income which may be partly caused by health problems to begin with.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    NY Metro area is skinny...because people walk soo much...it must sway the numbers of upstate. I am from upstate...and I find the people in upstate chubbier. Must be the 10cent wing night.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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  15. #15
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Within our state, I would guess that the poorest are more likely to be overweight and have diabetes (which is probably the case in most places).

    I wonder if in fact the poorest Americans are generally the most overweight. Often I have heard the comments about how the American obesity epidemic is a result of America's great wealth. Yet my personal observation is that the wealthier among us are also the most physically fit. My personal observation is also that the poorer are the most overweight. If that's the case then perhaps it speaks more to processed foods that are the staples of poorer families. The wealthy can shop at the local co-op and buy fresh organic food and create balanced meals whereas the poorer are essentially prisoners to the canned and pre-packaged food found in most convenience supermarkets.

    Pre-packaged and canned foods are a result of the concentration of wealth which has led to locally owned farms and businesses being put out of business. So potentially the rich become richer by contributing to the poor becoming more obese and unhealthy.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    That's right, Bitches!
    How you like me know!
    Colorado is that way because the economy is so bad that people can not afford a value meal!


    I am surprised that Michigan in not in the top 5 worst! Have you been to Detroit?
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I wonder if in fact the poorest Americans are generally the most overweight. Often I have heard the comments about how the American obesity epidemic is a result of America's great wealth. Yet my personal observation is that the wealthier among us are also the most physically fit. My personal observation is also that the poorer are the most overweight. If that's the case then perhaps it speaks more to processed foods that are the staples of poorer families. The wealthy can shop at the local co-op and buy fresh organic food and create balanced meals whereas the poorer are essentially prisoners to the canned and pre-packaged food found in most convenience supermarkets.

    Pre-packaged and canned foods are a result of the concentration of wealth which has led to locally owned farms and businesses being put out of business. So potentially the rich become richer by contributing to the poor becoming more obese and unhealthy.
    I think that the McDonald’s 99 cent menu proves your point!
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    The wealthy can shop at the local co-op and buy fresh organic food and create balanced meals whereas the poorer are essentially prisoners to the canned and pre-packaged food found in most convenience supermarkets.

    Pre-packaged and canned foods are a result of the concentration of wealth which has led to locally owned farms and businesses being put out of business. So potentially the rich become richer by contributing to the poor becoming more obese and unhealthy.
    Check out this organization, The Food Trust based in Philly. The link is to their programs page:

    http://www.thefoodtrust.org/php/programs/index.php

    One of the premises they operate from is that poorer areas generally have inhibited access to fresh, whole foods (thus shopping for dinner at the convenience store). They have done some wonderful GIS mapping to show this and the determine where to focus their work.

    Take a look at the corner store campaign which works to educate youth and store owners about high quality (instead of high fat) snack foods. Their other programs are also very innovative and exciting.

    This group does great work, and they're hiring!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Just because your are the least obese still doesn't mean you are skiny. It just means you aren't as obese. The gerneal trend country wide is that people are becoming fatter and fatter. Look at how many states had the little star by them indicating a "statistically significant increase"

    I think the perception is that it is much cheaper to eat unhealthy than it is to eat healthy, but an apple, even at wal mart is like a quarter, you can get about 6 bananas to the pound or roughly 20 cents each. Just the simple act of getting out of your car to be some fruit instead of getting the super sized meal at the drive thru would go a long way to making us a healthier, less obese, less medical problem producing country.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I think it's pretty accurate in my case. I live in South Carolina. As a whole we drive everywhere since there are often no sidewalks or safe pedestrian/bicycle routes and most cities are a 20-30 minute drive away from the next one. There is plenty of outdoor recreation, but much of it is a good distance away from where I live. Regional diet is a huge factor.....we eat every part of the pig except for the oink, fried chicken, greens, beans with fatback, biscuits, sausage, gravy, grits, etc etc. Poverty and income have a lot to do with lifestyle as far as what is consumed, many people in SC are living in poverty and get food stamps which generally are used to purchase high fat, high carb, cheap items that will stretch as far as they can go during a month.

    A novel approach to trying to introduce fresh produce in the diet of food stamp recipients was witnessed in Oregon. My retired mother received food stamps but from May-August she received an additional set of vouchers for $30 per month in the form of yellow coupons each good for $1 purchase at the local farmer's market. The trick was that you couldnt get change back for the $1 coupon and the vendors agreed to be reimbursed 75 cents for each coupon remitted. So basically with the coupons and about $5 cash food stamp recipients had access to fresh local produce. To me it seemed like a win for the poor on a shoestring budget to get fresh produce and for the vendors as a form of support to stay in business.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  20. #20
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    The link between poverty, poor food choices/access, and obesity is quite clear. Generally, you can summarize the chart as showing the worst obesity rates are in either the dixie south or the rustbelt states.

    Humidity is more a factor than heat - the dry heat of the desert southwest produces the healthiest behavior. The 4 healthier new england states also have fairly mild summers.

    In the rustbelt, the poverty from manufacturing jobs that have vanished combines with the humidity of the Ohio river valley to discourage healthy activity.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    the dry heat of the desert southwest produces the healthiest behavior.
    Not so sure about this.....Phoenix and Las Vegas, are unbearably hot, and consequently do not allow for almost any outdoor activities six month of the year.

    Perhaps EDUCATION has something to do with obesity. Where do the "top ten" obese states fall in higher education, test scores, etc.

    -DUB

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I am shocked and amazed (really) that FL is 35. I would have figured top 20, at least!

    (Hey, you guys in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio are fatter than us!)

  23. #23
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    Or maybe its POLITICS?

    Bush won the 20 most obese states (other than MI) and What's-his-name won the majority of states in the second (thinner) half of the obese list.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I am surprised that Michigan in not in the top 5 worst! Have you been to Detroit?
    Hey I've seen some pretty big porkers up in da ewe pee too ya knows.

    Actually people in Michigan are pretty big everywhere, I think its a combo between the poverty rate and just middle management sitting around getting fatter (I suffer from this too I'm afraid). For example, I am 6'5" none of the big and tall sections carry pants with 36" inseams. I can easily get a 60" waist, but I don't need that, my problem is length not width. So I finally asked a lady last weekend at the Big and Tall outlet in West Branch, MI why no one seems to carry those sizes in the state, and she told me that they just stock what sells, apparently there are more people needing XXXXL sweatpants (go figure, if you really exercised you would not wear an XXXL) than an XL length.

    It does seem that people are big in Detroit, but it is one of the few places in the state where folks congregate in large numbers (i.e., you can stand on the second floor of a mall and observe), or go to a Hockey game and see 25,000 all trying to squeeze out the doors at once, it can be frightening looking.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  25. #25
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Must be the Clinton Administration's fault.

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