Friday, February 11, 2011

Are Southern States Fatter than Northern?

So this morning I found an article on Yahoo news that listed the states with the deadliest obesity rates. It seemed that the states that were topping the list were those in the south such as Arizona, New Mexico, etc. This got me thinking.. why are those states more overweight than those in the north? You would think that with the southern states having longer summers and less harsh winters (except for this year?) that they would be more active and be outside. The list is as follows:

1. Mississippi
2. Alabama
3. Missouri
4. Kansas
5. Ohklahoma
6. Nevada
7. South Dakota
8. Ohio
9. Arizona
10. New Mexico

So the question then becomes.. whats different about their food and their eating choices? This article looked at things such as gallons of soda consumption per resident and amount of money spent on sugary snacks per person. Does this list have anything to do with that stereotype of "Souther Home cooking?" Where everything is deep fried, breaded or made with lard..thank you Paula Dean.

Mississippi, being the state at the top of the list, boasts the highest rate of adult type 2 diabetes in the country and an adult obesity rate of over 30%. This article discusses how these numbers were reached and these calculations included an interesting statistic.. Access to healthy food.

Can we truly blame states that do not have easy access to healthy foods? If you had to use your gas to travel an hour for a farmers market as opposed to five minutes to a McDonalds..wouldnt you do it? Who can afford to spend that gas money and that time to search for good foods? Its the same thing in the grocery stores.. if you make a healthy vegetable 5 dollars and a bag of potato chips 1 dollar, the average consumer during a recession is going to attempt to save that money now and worry about their health later. You make the healthy food unattainable.. you might as well have placed it 50 miles away.

So the government is creating all these reports on the studies of obesity trends and foods with no nutritional value..but are they really doing anything about it? Are they subsidizing vegetables instead of sugar cane? Are they giving tax incentives to people who can prove a healthy lifestyle or are they simply giving healthcare to people who are overweight and have corinary heart disease or diabetes?

The obesity rate is rising every day and the amount of truly healthy foods is continuining to be grossly outweighed by garbage. Eventually, we wont have a choice about what we eat because we will have no other option unless we can grow it ourselves.

I pose one question to my readers and I would love to hear what you have to say about it.

With Universal healthcare coming into play.. should we give free medical treatment to those people who choose unhealthy options? or not because its all that they are afforded? Id love your thoughts!!

1 comment:

  1. well said. And Paula Deen has ruined america's view on southern cooking! haha
    If I lived in AZ I would be outside every day! That's definitely something I took for granted before moving to snowy rainy cold pitt! I'm out every day the sun shines, and sometimes when it rains!