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!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Trip to Boston!!

Good Morning folks!

So I am angry for two reasons.. 1. because the Steelers lost the superbowl last night and 2. because as I went to write this post.. I realized that my phone did not save any of the pictures I had taken in Boston this past weekend. So for all of you contemplating a new phone.. I wouldnt suggest the Droid X.. Its a wonderful phone but half the time the features that make it wonderful.. dont work.. I've had the GPS and camera not function properly pretty consistantly and no matter what anyone tells you.. it doesnt render web pages any faster than any other smart phone.

ANYWAY, I apologize for this post not having any pictures.. but this weekend I had the pleasure of going to Boston for the Dynamic Women In Business Conference at the Harvard Business School. Getting the opportunity to walk around that campus was simply amazing! Its a school I had actually looked into attending for my Masters degree until I was offered an opportunity where I currently attend.

Unfortunately, Boston has been getting slammed with snow this whole winter and a huge storm hit right before I was supposed to go. It was crazy to see the snow drifts piled ten feet high.. although it kind of felt like home considering that was pittsburgh last winter. The good thing was the traffic in Boston is just awful and so we were forced to take public transportation. The train system in Boston is super easy to use and seemed to be pretty conveniant and inexpensive. It meant too that we had to walk everywhere, so the weekend was spent walking to the T's, on the Freedom Trail, Quincy market, to dinner, and all around the conference. I felt better knowing that I wasnt just sitting and eating all weekend.

I was able to eat at some pretty awesome places though and I tried to keep my choices as good as possible. Always had a side salad, split things in half and shared, no alcohol of course and always drinking water. We hit the original CHEERS bar which was pretty neat. The bar that the tv show was based off of was really cool to see! I had authentic mexican chili at a restaurant called "on the border" which a pound of tortilla chips and the biggest side salad I have ever seen in my life. At the conference, they were constantly feeding us and it was carbs, carbs, carbs.. bagels, muffins, cereal bars, sandwhiches, rice crispy treats and cookies..

The conference itself was simply wonderful! I got to hear the most amazing speakers and panels.. the CEO of (RED), the head of the American Red Cross discuss the tragedies in Haiti, women who are venture capitalists and entrepenuers. Even one woman who started her own line of health food called Thinfoods and gave everyone a free box of gluten free, sugar free energy bars! These women were a true inspiration and it was amazing that I knew exactly what they were talking about.. and it couldnt have come at a better point in my life. I am at a crossroads in the next 6 months.. of very exciting changes (moving to Charlotte, moving in with my better half, changing jobs, graduating from my MBA program, etc) but it also means leaving a lot of the things that I have built for myself here. ( my great apartment, my job, my friends for the last 6 years, my family) .. I walked away from the conference with a few tidbits of wisdom that I really think fit my situation perfectly..

1. You HAVE to take risks
     - If you dont jump off the platform and take a risk, you will never have the opportunity to grow. This really resonated with me because I am taking a risk in the next few months.. I dont know whats going to end up happening.. but I have such faith that its all going to be so wonderful and lead to such amazing things in my relationship, career and life in general.

2. Its ok to fail
    - If you never do anything because you are terrified that you might fail at it.. you'll never accomplish anything. It was comforting to hear CEO's talk about that nervous, overwhelmed feeling in the pit of their stomach when starting a new job or project. I know that feeling all to well and if women running Fortune 50 companies get it too.. I think I will be ok!

3. Respect is something earned
    - These women had become respected decision makers because they were smart, consistant/reliable and proved themselves to make good decisions and follow through on them. You cant demand respect for the simple fact that you have a degree or experience. You have to constantly prove that you deserve it by being trustworthy, admorable and smart.

4. Love and forgive yourself
    - Take care of yourself and love yourself.. make sure you are healthy, happy and loved by others because that is whats going to get you through a long day.. it isnt a paycheck or pride.. its having a partner that you know will be there for you whether you succeed or fail. By partner, I dont mean husband or boyfriend necessarily.. but anyone that you consider a support system.. your best friend, parent, grandparent, brother or sister.. They will always be there for you no matter what when jobs come and go.. Forgive yourself for your faults, your shortcomings and limitations and work on making them disappear to make a better you!

I am getting back to the grind today.. Luckily I dont have class so I will be able to take my time in the gym and really do some work. I feel like the conference was a wonderful experience, I saw so many inspirational women.