Obesity Is Out Of Control

A CNN map shows the American obesity epidemic since 1985, and it’s freaky. Why is it happening? High fructose corn syrup? Fast food? Cheap carbohydrates? Lack of moral fiber?

Tell us what you think in the comments. What has changed since 1985?

Obesity in the US [CNN via Digg]

Comments

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  1. Murph1908 says:

    Hmmm. Perhaps the next article on this site provides a clue.

  2. magic8ball says:

    The medical definition of “obese” has changed at least once since 1985. Is there any way of telling if the map is adjusted/corrected for that? I know that doesn’t account for the entire increase, but it does make a difference.

  3. B says:

    I like how obese states are the “red states” Kind of reminds me of a similar looking map of the US that separated states by Red and Blue. Funny thing is a lot of the states were the same color on both maps.

  4. dvddesign says:

    I’m sure I’ve stayed well within medical definitions since 1995. I am steadily working to get out of this exclusive clique I’ve found myself in. When I’m 40, I don’t plan on having to listen to my doctor badger and threaten me into going to the gym.

  5. banned says:

    Alot of this is hype and meaningless. The BMI charts they use to measure obesity are so far off reality, it really does make us all obese. The BMI does not account for body type, and was not even invented for these purposes. I’m not saying the facts are in dispute, but certainly blown up.

  6. BarryT says:

    That “McDonald’s Introduces 1/3 Pound Burger” might provide a hint!

  7. Chicago7 says:

    @Murph1908:

    Hahahaha! Leave my 1/3 lb McD’s burgers out of this! They have NO calories and they actually cause you to lose weight. If you eat enough of them, you may float away on a slight breeze. It says so right on the box!

  8. rhombopteryx says:

    @B:

    But they’re not really… States don’t get any “redder” than ID and UT, but the mountain states in general are among the lowest % obese. Similarly, “blue” MI seems to have quite a few chunkers.

  9. skittlbrau says:

    @rhombopteryx: maybe MI has a load of chunkers because of the state’s love affair with coneys – why you would put chili beef and cheese on top of a hotdog and eat like, 3 in a row, is completely beyond me.

  10. jamesdenver says:

    I do agree that too many Americans are fatty fat fat. But RocnRule above is right – the qualifications of obese are ridiculous. I’m 5’8 and 156, bike to work and back, hit the gym 3x a week and have a great body, but i’m about 10lbs away from being labeled obese.

  11. Papercutninja says:

    I THINK that obesity, especially in children is a direct result of shitty parents not saying “NO” to their awful children.

  12. Thrust says:

    Ok, what the FUCK does morality have to do with obesity. Lack of Self Control yes, Moral Fiber?

  13. annelise13 says:

    I suspect it has something to do with most folks having jobs that require sitting around all day, combined with frozen and fast food being cheaper and easier than fresh food. That’s how I explain my fat @$$, anyway.

  14. joemono says:

    I’m not saying there isn’t a problem, but are these figures coming from the same scale that label Brad Pitt as overweight?

  15. enm4r says:

    Why did BMI overtake body fat % as a way to measure obesity? I’m not even close on any scale, and easily on the lower end of the BMI chart, but it really is useless. While I would be tempted to agree that many in the NFL are overweight, the study from last year or the year before that used solely BMI had 50% of the NFL as being severly obese. BMI should not be used for these reasons, without other test statistics such as body fat %.

    Here’s a link to ESPN coverage of NFL bashing the study, much as this CNN “study” should be. [sports.espn.go.com]

  16. urban_ninjya says:

    I blame it on TV and video games. Seriously!!

    Almost all social functions now adays involve good. We stay indoors so much, we sort of forgotten what there is to do outside besides eating. When you ask a girl out on a date these days, it’s usually out for a drink, or for dinner. When you go out with friends, it starts off with some sort of meal. Dinner than catch a new movie.. Meeting an old friend for lunch.. etc..

  17. urban_ninjya says:

    @enm4r: Fat% is definately the better way. But harder to survey. Most doctors officies don’t do fat % tests while they do measure height and weight consistently. Usually the people paying to measuring their fat % are already into their health. Anyways.. it’s not like there are alot of muscular athletes in there world. So a negligible number.

  18. Buran says:

    WTH is with the continued insulting “fatty” comments, as if it’s acceptable to make fun of how people look? Why is that still acceptable when other forms of ridicule have finally wandered into the realm of “you don’t say those things”?

    Not everyone who is overweight can necessarily help it, and it seems like everyone who is gets made fun of by people who are totally unqualified to make such judgments.

    I know it has nothing to do with the post topic — well, it sort of does — but seriously, what the hell?

    (yes, I’ve known people, and still know people, who are affected by this, and really can’t do thing about it, one friend has lots of other medical problems to worry about on top of that, and it does hurt them quite a bit)

  19. acceptablerisk says:

    Is this a consumer blog or are we just going to bitch about fat everyone is getting and how companies are companies are releasing products people evidently want? It’s not McDonald’s job to keep your from fat ass from buying their shit.

    Can we get back to real news and stop goggling over fast food restaurants releasing new unhealthy menu options. They’re doing a good job providing a service people clearly want. I don’t see where there’s a place for that here.

  20. grandaardvark says:

    @ THRUST:
    Maybe it’s a lack of fiber that is morally created (not Chinese in origin, for example).

  21. Ncisfan says:

    Could This be a reason why Fatties are prevalent
    [fantasyfeeder.com]

    I found this link while goofing off on the Internet.

  22. royal72 says:

    please feel free to eat all the fat slop you possibly can and keel over as soon as possible… less traffic that way and more parking places.

  23. Murph1908 says:

    Thinking about it, I am ready to blame the advent of the 2-income family.

    When I was growing up, we would go out to eat at a (sit down) restaurant maybe once a month. This was a special occasion.

    Now, with the increased disposable income, people go out (made up statistic) at least once a week.

    This also leads to more meals on the road and more prepackaged meals at home, since both parents work and no time to cook a real, balanced meal.

    It also leads to more availability of items that were special treats. Fun stuff like Drumsticks and Ice Cream Bars were special treats when at a park, and very exciting when Mom actually brought a box home. These days, such items are part of the standard grocery list.

    With the exception of housing, (which I can’t see how anyone affords without 2 incomes anymore), prices on things didn’t double when 2 incomes became the norm. And in fact, relatively, eating out has become less expensive with the proliferation of the chain restaurants such as Applebees and Red Robin. I think a steak in 1987 was not much less expensive than you can get one at Outback these days.

    We are eating ‘better’ because we have more money.
    We are eating ‘worse’ (pre-packaged and fast food) because we have less time.

  24. Scott says:

    I guess we should stop stereotyping the midwest as a bunch of fatties and start saying it about the south.

  25. dbeahn says:

    @rocnrule: Wow, I agree with Rocnrule on this one.

    According to the BMI charts, Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger are both obese.

  26. jeblis says:

    Yeah BMI is a horrible measure of obesity, but let’s face it folks most people with a high BMI are not there because they have bulging muscles.

    Causes? HFCS is a big one. It’s calories, but you body doesn’t properly recognize them so it fails to shut down your appetite.

    Diets are also part of the problem. As many people diet they end up losing muscle. A pound of muscle will burn 50 calories a day just by being there. If you restrict calories, you reduce your metabolism and lose muscle. Exactly the opposite of what you want. Also these high aerobic workouts (> 30 minutes) tend to break down muscle.

    The solution: Weight lifting (circuit training is great for boosting you metabolism), eating small healthy meals, throughout the day, light/interval aerobic exercise. Lots of calcium and protein during they day to boost muscle growth and keep your metabolic rate high. Avoid HFCS.

  27. Thrust says:

    @Ncisfan: I am horrified in ways I haven’t been horrified since working for Video Update and having to prepare the porno movies for the shelf (Latin Plump Humpers 4 has scarred me for life).

  28. Steel_Pelican says:

    Follow the money.

    Food corporations want us to be fat and gluttonous, then to feel bad about it.

    Gluttony makes you buy more food, which is profit for everyone involved.

    Then we get fat. We feel bad about it, so we buy “healthy” versions of everything we’d normally eat (often at a tidy markup). More money for those food manufacturers. Because the guys who make Cheezy Beef-O-Ghetti are just one division of the same company that makes Lean-O-Slim Soy Cakes. You’re not going to lose weight doing this, so you either buy MORE Lean-O-Slim Soy Cakes, or give up entirely, and go back to the Beef-O-Ghetti.

    They profit on making you fat, then profit on your desire to get slim. The getting slim doesn’t work, so you go back to the fat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

  29. Godz says:

    @Buran: Most people can do something about it. They just like to play off as being victims when they could work hard to stay in shape. Lazy and no self control.

    Stop eating fast food, prepare your meals.

  30. getjustin says:

    What about all those weird looking states around Michigan? Why isn’t anyone fat there?

  31. banned says:

    Here is an example. I am 5’11″, 150 lbs. I am by all measures, underweight, but BMI lists me as right in the middle of normal. I would have to lose 20lbs to be considered underweight by BMI. I could not possibly lose 20 lbs without a major disease or long-term heroine use. The worst part is this is partially how insurance companies measure your health care premiums.

  32. enm4r says:

    @Godz: But they don’t even have time to prepare their own meals, how are they supposed to find time to workout 30-60 minutes every couple days?!?!

  33. Eric1285 says:

    I don’t think the definitions of obese are all that off. I mean, I’m 6’1 210 and I’m about 10-15 pounds from being obese…which is about right, since I’m pretty fat as it is.

  34. Godz says:

    @enm4r: You don’t have any days off on the weekends? Cook food and put it in containers for the week. Do you spend 30-60 minutes every couple of days watching TV?

  35. acambras says:

    @Buran:

    The anonymity of the internet makes people feel like they can say stuff that they’d never say to anyone’s face. So, while most people wouldn’t call someone on the street “fatass” or laugh in the face of the JoAnn diarrhea lady, a lot of people feel safe (and smug) hatin’ online.

  36. justelise says:

    I’m glad that someone else brought up High Fructose Corn Syrup. 20-30 years ago even junk foods were sugar sweetened. With the introduction of HFCS, which the body doesn’t handle in the same way as sugar, a lot of people end up gaining a lot more weight eating the same things they have been eating their whole lives. Of course no one thing can be blamed, but I’m surprised there has not been more research on the adverse effects of HFCS.

    Seriously.. think about it. If you are in your late 20′s to mid 30′s now, you grew up with video games, cable tv, computers, and a myriad of other activities that kept you indoors. You ate Fruit Loops and drank Coke, and when you think back there were very few kids who were truly overweight in your grade in school. The kids now are eating and drinking the same things, and even though they may not play outside as actively as we did when we were kids, it doesn’t explain why so many kids are so enormously overweight (not just a mere 10-15 pounds heavier than they should be).

    I’m not saying that HFCS is the only thing to blame, but I would be very interested in seeing the research. Personally, I think between HCFS, hiking the prices of corn for ethanol production, and getting massive amounts of financial support from the government that could get spread out over a number of industries, the corn farmers are getting away with murder and something should be done about it.

  37. SaveMeJeebus says:

    In 5 years we are going to need more colors…

  38. Mom2Talavera says:

    the food served at places like Applebees,TGIF,Texas road house,olive garden are just as unhealthy as KFC,MD,Wendy’s…ect

    Good rule of thumb is to NOT eat what you see advertised on TV.

  39. Youthier says:

    I am surprised about the Southern states being heavier than the Northern states. Most people aren’t going to work out in the freezing cold winter unless they have a gym membership (hell, I bitch about the 2 minute walk from my car to the office) and obviously not everyone can afford that. While I’m in healthy shape, I definately pick up 5lbs every winter but what the hell is the excuse in the South?

  40. jeblis says:

    @Buran: The vast majority of people can control their weight. Very few have a medical reason they cannot. Having said that; the real problem is that most people don’t know how to do it. Life has no instruction book and the fad diets of carbo loading, calorie restriction, fat restriction, Atkins, etc. just hurt a person in the long run. Food pyramids, calorie counting etc. are very hard to translate into real world choices about what and when to eat.

    Roughly 70% of your calories burned everyday is done through doing nothing at all. 10% moving around, and 10% from digesting food. Other 10% is really known…may just pass through you.

    So the biggie is boosting the sitting around part (Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR), The easiest way to do this is with six small meals a day, if you stomach is empty, your body reduces your metabolism. Muscle burns calories just by being there, get some. Don’t starve yourself, your body will attack muscle first for energy.

  41. jeblis says:

    sorry should be: where the other 10% goes isn’t well understood.

  42. skittlbrau says:

    I don’t necessarily blame eating out for weight gain. I eat out 2x a week, and I generally go for sushi or korean, both of which aren’t that horrible for you. it is entirely possible to eat out and make good choices. imho, much of the problem boils down to the choices we make in our food, both at home and at the restaurant.

  43. acambras says:

    @HeyHermano:

    but what the hell is the excuse in the South?

    Southern summers, and I say this as someone who lived in the Deep South for most of my life.

    Exercising outside during the summer when there are heat advisories can be seriously hazardous to one’s health (heatstroke, etc.)

    I’m not saying that’s the only reason. I lived in South Louisiana and the food was awesome.

  44. maztec says:

    [www.foodnavigator-usa.com]

    I would not be shocked if other organic foods had higher levels of minerals, vitamins, and other necessary food products. Food science has taken dramatic leaps in the last 20 years. Fruits and vegetables have been engineered to “ship better”. Meat has been engineered to grow bigger, faster and maximize profits.

    A logical leap would be to assume that nutrition levels have decreased in exchange for the bigger, year-round, more robust, better shipping, more colorful and perceptually better in exchange for nutrition, flavor, and ripeness.

    As nutrition decreases the amount of food you need to consume to fill the natural biochemical cravings that result from lacking nutrition increases. Bulk increases, fat increases, volume increases, other food elements that add empty calories and increase your own obesity, must be consumed in greater amounts in order to acquire the nutrition you need.

    When this is coupled with the quick thrill that “junk” foods and low-nutrition foods fulfills the effects are multiplied. All of this results in an increase in obesity.

    I would like to see charts paralleling food science and adjustment with increase in obesity. That could disprove the above hypothetical or could add evidence to it.

    Thoughts?

  45. tigerjade says:

    @HeyHermano: ‘Cause here in the South it gets too hot to breathe. :> Working out in air conditioning still means you have to brand your hands on the steering wheel, get flash burns from the windows, and tattoo yourself with the seatbelt buckle to get there.

    Personally, I blame HFCS and fat, and portions served. People will eat whatever’s put in front of them, and restaurants are serving larger portions than they did 20 or 30 years ago. Then they have the expectation that EVERY meal is supposed to have that much food, so any meal served at home gets the same super-size treatment.

  46. banned says:

    @Buran:
    I doubt anybody will argue a fat person with a medical condition is different than fat people in general. These people know who they are so should not be offended. However, people hating on fat people is no different than people hating on smokers. People will tell me to my face, my smoking costs them money on my future cancer treatments. Those aren’t only skinny people saying that. I have to accept that, and I am not offended. So why can’t I in turn, accuse them of the same!?

  47. JuliusJefferson says:

    @HeyHermano:

    Ever heard of soul food? Most southern food is somehow cooked in large amounts of lard, vegetable oil, and/or butter. It’s easy to escape this in the fairly large cities, but there aren’t too many healthy restaurants/grocery stores elsewhere.

  48. not_seth_brundle says:

    @jamesdenver: I think you mean overweight, not obese. Overweight is BMI of 25-29.9, which at 5’8″ is 164-196. You would be considered obese if you hit 197.

    [www.consumer.gov]

  49. muckpond says:

    i’m no angel when it comes to eating, but i heartily agree that the BMI is a stupid measurement.

    i’m really muscular (although i am a bit overweight), but according to the BMI charts i should lose something like 35 pounds. i would look completely ridiculous if i lost 35 pounds!

    …besides, the only way i would ever weigh that much involves something getting amputated.

  50. Lars says:

    It’s about the BMI as flawed statistic. Let the media and pharma fan the catostrophe flames and you’ve got an epidemic. As noted by Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, Professor at Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute,

    “Obesity is not a personal failing,” Friedman argues. “In trying to lose weight, the obese are fighting a difficult battle – a battle against biology, a battle that only the intrepid take on and one in which only a few prevail.”

    Read the rest of the balanced and well thought out article at:

    [runews.rockefeller.edu]

  51. jgkelley says:

    @justelise:

    Since the question posed by this post was “what’s causing this problem?,” I came up with a few reasons that obesity is reaching such a huge level in america while I walked to get the mail. I’m no expert, but to bulletinize some of your thoughts and mine:

    1. the type of work the average person does (non physical)
    2. the number of hours the average person works (increased, obviously, since 2 person incomes, but in general far higher than in the past, resulting in less time for physical activity as a whole)
    3. the availability of cheap, unhealthy food – touched on by many here
    4. low cost, in-home entertainment (tv, pc)
    5. housing/urban sprawl (the rise of the suburb means less to do outside – who fondly remembers desperately wanting to go play on the asphalt when they were a little kid?)
    6. lack of social activity (with kids, interaction is now online as much as in real life, and with adults, the drop in civic engagement means less reason to leave the house – see the book Bowling Alone)
    7. the stagnation of real wages adding to these things
    8. the rise of pharmaceutical companies and their advertising (you’re getting fat? don’t worry, take this!)
    9. lack of education about food and health (the dumbing down caused by lack of cooking skills, the reliance on prepared meals, and drugs and pills)
    10. the real kicker, in my opinion – the number of generations that all of these things have been in effect. I estimate 2-3 for most of them (60 years), which is the number of generations who have grown up barely ever seeing a parent cook a meal, go outside, make time for exercise, etc. I remember from Sociology that the number of generations (after a relocation or change in government) it takes for a group to lose their native language is, almost without fail, two. We’ve now had at least that many generations watch their parents getting more and more unhealthy and less and less active, and growing up in the shadow of that.

    There are too many factors for this situation to improve. However you analyze obesity, whether it’s 15% of the population or 30%, the problem is being created by a giant web of causes, and nothing I can imagine will take enough of the supports down for much of america to escape.

  52. stonestix says:

    Aside from personal responsibility, the environment we live it makes it harder to burn calories. When’s the last time you opened a door while shopping or rolled down a car window? All the little conveniences of life add up to less calories burned.

  53. no.no.notorious says:

    ok. lets look at history. back in the day, if you’re overweight, that means you have wealth because you were able to afford alot of food.

    as a nation, we’re so rich that we were able to get the technology that makes what was previously expensive (like meats and sweet) cheap. even our poorest are living like kings compared to other countries.

    some may argue that europe is also a rich nation, but they’re not nearly as fat as we are. well, they’re not. most of those countries are going bankrupt because of entitlement programs, and their population has been on the decline…hence all the insentives for reproduction (like in Germany)

    we’re fat because we’re rich. the end.

  54. Geekybiker says:

    Ummm isnt Angus just a type of cattle?
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  55. Anna says:

    I think diets and guilt play as much of a role as processed foods and corn syrup. Along with the introduction of HFCS, we also have the introduction of “lite” and low-fat. Feeling like you shouldn’t indulge in something–an avocado, bread, cheesecake–only makes you want it more.

    Compulsive eating is not always the gorgefest we picture. If you continue to eat after you’re full, when you know you’re full–that’s a compulsive behavior. And I think it’s bred by guilt. And since guilt is marketed to us constantly (Good for you vs. Sinfully Delicious) we have become a nation of comfort-eaters.

  56. The Bigger Unit says:

    Too bad there’s no category for “>67%”, as Alabama would dominate that category as well.

    Fatasses.

  57. etinterrapax says:

    It’s our lifestyle, and either we make conscious choices to change it–not just what we eat, but how we live and what we value–or we let it ruin us. I really think we’ve gotten to a point where individuals can only do so much. We have to be committed to achieving a healthier work/life balance, and to making changes in our surroundings that force us to live more healthfully. Just the fact that it’s standard now to build neighborhoods without sidewalks is evidence that it’s more than what one individual eats anymore.

  58. telepanda says:

    Things that annoy me about food shopping, and which cannot be good for America’s collective waistline:
    (1) Misleading labels on ‘healthy’ food products
    (2) The prevalence of high fructose corn syrup, which is damn near impossible to escape.
    (3) It’s next to impossible to purchase ANYTHING non-sweetened

    The other day, I had a horribly frustrating experience shopping for whole wheat bread.

    First I sifted out all the products which are “made WITH whole wheat flour”, because that’s code for “first ingredient is bleached refined flour; at some point during the baking process, bread may have been sprinkled with whole wheat flour.”

    Most of the Baker’s Inn products fit this description, giving it the appearance of a reasonable brand. Then I remembered that either their seven-grain or nine-grain bread is a little too sweet for my tastes, but I can never remember which, so I started reading the labels even more carefully. And then I realized that every bread I picked up had high fructose corn syrup in it. I started looking at other brands. More HFCS. I finally found one or two that had honey, but I still didn’t want sweetened bread. Finally, I found one poor neglected little organic fresh-baked loaf hiding in the corner that had the ingredient list I was looking for: water, whole wheat flour, yeast, salt. It had never even occurred to me that even the expensive whole wheat breads had HFCS in them!

    On a non-bread note, next time you go to the store, calculate the percentage of beverages you can find which are not sweetened (be it with HFCS, sugar, or artificial sweetener). It’s really, really, really depressing. (In contrast, in Japan, for example, you can find a wide variety of different bottled teas, in a wide variety of different flavors, which are completely unsweetened, and yet flavorful and tasty.)

  59. Buran says:

    @Godz: That’s why I said “some people” …

  60. Ncisfan says:

    @Thrust: yeah That website has also scared me for life. that and almost being eaten by a fat kid 2 months ago (really the fat kid thing happened, horrifying story for later though)

  61. Buran says:

    @rocnrule: Because someone hating on you isn’t justification to hate on someone else.

  62. jamesdenver says:

    Agree – our suburbs and the way they’re engineered play a part in the lack of mobility. Everyone drives everywhere.

    I live in an old neighborhood and bike to work, or walk to the bus for my commute. I walk to the small market around the corner, or take a 15 minute walk/ or 5 min. bike ride to big grocery store. Drive takes the same amount of time as biking. And I have a bike with some racks so I can actually use it for practical reasons like doing errands, meeting friends for dinner at a restaurant and such.

    My other half and I share a car and it’s worked out great for years. If you want to lose weight forget extreme diets – just integrate walking and MOVING as a basic part of your life. It works – and it keeps your daily metabolism at a much better rate as an hour workout 3 times a week. Driving to work, driving to the store, driving to the store and home doesn’t cut it. Even if you do drive to the gym to ride a stationary bike.

    james [www.futuregringo.com]

  63. banned says:

    @Buran:
    I think people have the right to hate on me, or smokers, because it does effect you, even without the 2nd hand smoke issue. It effects your health care premiums. Where I live, my taxes pay for health care so maybe its different, but when my taxes are paying for your heart surgery, which is avoidable, I have a right to complain.

  64. timmus says:

    Living in Texas I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the driver of a bigass pickup truck pulling into a parking space at Sonic and asking for a Route 44 drink. That’s 44 ounces, or 2.75 pounds of soda. Who the hell needs that much Coke?

  65. timmus says:

    And just to throw in my two bits: BAN HFCS!

  66. jeblis says:

    Notice how many different causes are listed in this thread. Many of them do add up, but if you think about it, losing weight is confusing. Many different ideas are out there, most of them short term fixes or outright false. Most people don’t understand what it is they have to do to be in shape and healthy in the long term.

    To really solve America’s obesity problem, we need to teach people how to eat and exercise. If most people realized what they have to do, that it’s not that hard, they don’t have to starve themselves (and shouldn’t); they’d do it.

    If more people bought and ate healthy foods, we’d see more in the marketplace.

    Instead we have these common false notions:

    eat less
    starve yourself
    don’t eat fats
    don’t eat carbohydrates
    do a ton of aerobic exercise
    just eat a few calories less than you burn
    go on a diet
    restrict the kinds of food you can have
    count calories
    exercise a ton

  67. skittlbrau says:

    @Geekybiker: Yes. Black Angus are favored by my cattle rancher uncle because they don’t have horns, thus they don’t gore each other. He said you have to remove the horns of other breeds, which makes the calves understandably upset.

  68. MameDennis says:

    @justelise:
    Agreed!

    The other thing that I really have to wonder about is the way soft drinks have become so incredibly prevalent. When I was a kid, yes, we drank soda. But we didn’t have a 20-ouncer surgically attached to our hands all the time.

    I have some friends who are completely unable to process the idea that I genuinely prefer drinking tap water. I mean, to the point that they assume that surely, the “problem” must be that I must prefer another brand, and they’ll be happy to run to the store to get a 12-pack.

  69. Sherryness says:

    Actually, I heard that was Tom Cruise who was technically obese by these charts. I think when you hit the lower threshold of height and the upper threshold of weight, it leaves less room for things like muscle, bone density, etc. @joemono:

  70. Sherryness says:

    @telepanda: For a list of things with No High Fructose Corn Syrup in them go to [www.highfructosehigh.com]

  71. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Wanna lose weight? Simple diet consists of water and multi-vitamins. Nothing more, nothing less. Do this until flies buzz around you.

  72. bbbici says:

    1. Driving everywhere/drive-throughs
    2. Urban sprawl
    3. Subsidized corn
    4. Food portion-size escalation
    5. TV, internet, and video games
    6. Historically low relative food prices
    7. Decreasing social stigma associated with obesity (critical mass, pun intended)
    8. High level of societal depression

  73. burgundyyears says:

    Two points:

    1) HFCS has never, to my knowledge, been shown to have a different satiety profile from sucrose or to be processed differently by the body than sucrose. You could replace HFCS with sucrose in every product tomorrow and I will wager that NO change in any obesity metric would ever be detected by that change alone. People may well need to eliminate SUGAR from their diet, just replacing the HFCS with sucrose will accomplish little from a public health perspective.

    2) BMI calculators say I’m nearly overweight (23.9). Yippee! The weight I’d have to drop under to be considered underweight is scary – like concentration-camp-survivor scary. Plus BMI calculators also make no allowance for bone structure (in me, quite large) or body fat %.

  74. Mary says:

    Wow, yet another case of people completely buying everything that’s told to them.

    *throws hands in the air* Standards change, they have changed. The things we judge people on these days were not made up by unbiased medical professionals with years of studies and data under their belts but by diet gurus and people with more agendas than you can count.

    Who cares what these statistics say? They’re practically baseless.

  75. Mary says:

    @bbbici: 7. Decreasing social stigma associated with obesity (critical mass, pun intended)

    What world do you live in? Can I move there? Social stigma towards obesity has done nothing but get worse in recent years.

  76. Mary says:

    In case anybody wants to know more about the changes in BMI that specifically relate to this map:
    [www.bigfatblog.com]

  77. Thrust says:

    @acambras: I assure you, core to my very being, anything I say “online” is said in a nicer manner than how I would say it to someone’s face. I only sugar coat it here so I don’t get kick/banned.

    @justelise: I feel you and everyone else are missing the bigger issue with HFCS… Yes it may be making us fatter than real sugar would have, but the BIG problem is all the HFCS stuff tastes like CRAP compared to how it used to. Yes it may not seem like as big a deal as making us fat, but think about it… The red pill makes you fat and tastes alright, the blue pill doesn’t make you AS fat, and tastes like Ambrosia… Morpheus can shove that red pill up his ass, I want my old high-sugar treats, not this double rip-off.

    @jeblis: Finally someone who understands some of how the body works… The problem however is in being able to get six small meals a day with modern working limits. When people get like one break per shift, they try to get enough in them to survive the day, which usually results in overeating.

  78. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @meiran: Yep. Look at kids in school. When I was in school, we had one “the fat kid.” Nobody knew him, he was just “the fat kid.” It was always one per class though. I imagine now there are considerably more and they are still looked at funny and ostracized as they eat at the in house McDonalds and Coke/snack machines.

  79. balthisar says:

    I’m from Michigan, and I didn’t even know we were fat until I was stationed in Texas for a few years and realized all the women there were hot. What’s odd is seeing Texas on the fat list. Granted it’s now 10 years later, and I’ve gotten fatter (here in Michigan) since my army days.

    Aren’t those all states that Michiganders fled to when the auto industry first started laying people off back in the 70′s? Maybe obesity is a Michigan trait and we’ve been spreading it about the country since the mass migration began!

  80. timmus says:

    Is there a BETTER calculator for BMI, or a better scale? I’d like to re-evaluate my height-weight according to a more sensible scale.

  81. mathew says:
  82. LionelEHutz says:

    All of the sudden I have the urge to get a Wendy’s Triple with Biggie fries, a large Chili, and a large frosty.

  83. kylere says:

    @rhombopteryx:

    Michigan is a welfare organized, Union and lazy proud about it, democratic controlled state, with one of the highest minimum wages in the US.

    You are better off being a high school drop out, with children from 3 different men in Michigan, than to be someone that works. That is why fat is in!

  84. rkm12 says:

    Nice to see my home state of Michigan representing the northern middle west.

  85. Responses to random above comments I’m too lazy to properly direct:

    I gained weight while living in the South because instead of 3 months of frigid weather (wherein shivvering keeps you skinny!), we had 9 months of weather wherein I could not breathe at all and going outdoors induced asthma attacks. It was horrific. (I learned at Colonial Williamsburg that something like 30% of settlers south of the Mason-Dixon died “from the climate.” I BELIEVE IT.) Also, in many places in the South there is no pedestrian infrastructure. Northern suburbs were often actual suburbs or farm town pre-automobile; you have to get to the exurbs to find places REALLY impossible for a pedestrian to leave the house. Suburbs in the south are almost entirely a product of post-central-air and so have ALWAYS existed in an auto world. I couldn’t walk anywhere, not even around the block. There weren’t even sidewalks.

    For a while I had to take a drug that made me put on weight (and I was literally hungry ALL THE TIME. I could be so full I felt like throwing up and I was STILL getting hunger signals), which I guess made me part of the “overweight for a medical reason.” Trust me, you don’t “not feel bad” when people get harsh about fat people just because you know you have an actual reason. I think it may have made me feel worse: Not only was I “fat,” but it was completely beyond my control and I could be eating 1300 calories a day and STILL GAIN WEIGHT. And people say nasty, nasty things to you because you’re overweight; they don’t care if you have a medical problem. And you go home and cry because you’re sick and you’re ugly and none of your pants fit and everyone thinks you’re ugly and feels free to say so to your face in the mall and there’s nothing you can do about it because if you stop the medicine, you will (in my case) risk death (among other problems). And if you’re foolish enough to respond and say “I have a medical problem!” they laugh and say things like, “Lack of willpower isn’t a MEDICAL problem.”

    It’s made me a lot more sympathetic to people with a weight problem for ANY reason. I don’t think people realize how cruel they often are, or how HARD it is to lose weight when your metabolism has slowed to a crawl and your knees are carrying all that extra weight, which makes working out difficult. And having low self-esteem that assholes feel justified in battering even more every single day doesn’t exactly give you the motivation to get out there and work hard and keep working. Even working out was hard; I was afraid if I jogged where anyone could see me, they’d be mocking me and laughing behind their hands. Because God knows they’d do it to my face in stores. I have never in my life had such a sense of being “on stage” all the time. And the emotional hangover of it, now that the medicine weight is gone, is that I’m terribly, terribly self-conscious now and afraid people are going to say nasty things about how my body looks.

  86. @timmus: “Is there a BETTER calculator for BMI, or a better scale?”

    I think it’s called “talking to your doctor about a healthy weight for your body.” :)

  87. jeff303 says:

    @timmus: Forget BMI (“big meaningless integer”). What you really want to know is body fat percentage. There are many ways to measure this, of varying convenience, accessibility, and expense. On one end of the spectrum you have hydrostatic tubs which cost a few hundred bucks for a session but are extremely accurate. Start going to those before your next bodybuilding competition.

    In the meantime, the caliper (skinfold) method is considered reasonably accurate and cheap/easy to do at home. Also, waist to hip ratio is also a reasonably good indicator, and is free and easy.

  88. KSE says:

    Obviously it is the fault of fast food restaurants. If they didn’t constantly kidnap people and force them to eat their food, this problem would not exist.

    Hey timmus, who the hell are you to decide how much coke people get to drink (if you’re God, disregard this message).

  89. jeblis says:

    @timmus: Body fat %. There are, of course, lower bounds on what is healthy.

  90. ChaosMotor says:

    “we’re fat because we’re rich. the end.”

    No, we’re fat because we’re poor.

    Kids play outside less, and go less distance when they do. People walk less around town. Nobody goes on a family walk or hike anymore. But the number one most important reason?

    High prices. High food prices, high home prices, high gas prices, high vehicle prices, low income.

    Dad (if he even exists) can’t make enough skrilla to cover the whole family, so mom has to work.

    Mom has less time to shop for healthy choices, less money to pay for healthy choices, less time to grow her own healthy choices, and certainly has less time to prepare healthy meals. So you eat lower quality, fat, sugar, and carb rich food from a restaurant or a fast food place.

    Nobody appreciates ‘hard’ answers, though. High prices, or mom working, is too complex an issue to address it as a cause, and too many sensitive souls may be offended by bringing it up anyway, so we have to find the ‘easy’ solutions, the one-stop-shops, that are quick-fixes, without any deep implications.

    Unfortunately solutions without deep implications don’t solve much because they don’t actually reach the problem, they just gloss over it.

  91. ChaosMotor says:

    “we’re fat because we’re rich. the end.”

    “No, we’re fat because we’re poor.”

    I should clarify, nobody that has to hold down a job to feed themselves is rich. I don’t care if you have a Lexus, a $500,000 house, a boat, a 60″ TV, an XBox, Playstation, and Wii, if you have to work for a living you are not rich. You are a wage slave who is distracted from your poverty by shiny baubles, trinkets, and toys.

  92. supra606 says:

    @jamesdenver: BMI does not really apply to athletic people. Athletic people tend to have more muscle and muscle weighs more than fat.

  93. KSE says:

    @ChaosMotor:

    so, um, societal leeches who live off of government handouts and trust fund heirs are the only rich ones, since ya know, they don’t have to work? I don’t think I really need to hear any more of your “deep implications”

  94. supra606 says:

    This whole obesity problem is just one more example of how way too many people don’t use common sense and expect someone else to think/act for them. It’s pathetic and then people wonder why our own government is walking all over us.

  95. markwm says:

    @mathew:

    Except, HFCS is approximately 55% Fructose to 45% Glucose, while table sugar (Sucrose) is 50% Fructose 50% Glucose. Not an appreciable difference. Most studies done that are used to vilify HFCS use 100% Fructose.

    The real issue with HFCS is not that it in and of itself is making fatter. It’s that the lifestyle that consumes so much HFCS (or would consume sucrose if it were brought back to sodas, etc.) consumes more calories than needed.
    A person could eat nothing but fruits and vegetables, but if they consumed 3,000 calories worth a day, and did little or no exercise, they’d still be just as fat as the person living off 3000 calories a day worth of Twinkies and Coca-Cola.

  96. G-Dog says:

    @rocnrule:
    True, most heavy weight MMA athletes are considered overweight.

    And people are so fat today that we are living longer than in any point in recorded history.

  97. bbbici says:

    @markwm:

    the energy required for chewing and digesting 3000 calories of vegetable matter probably offsets some of the calories.

    BMI isn’t perfect, but it’s a pretty good measure for 95% of people.

    If you can’t visually count your ribs or vertebrae, or teeth through your cheeks, you’re fat.

  98. bbbici says:

    @G-Dog:

    true, people are living longer today than other points in history. However, that is the baby boom and prior generation. Gen X, Y, and younger are the fatties and may prove to live shorter but greasier lives.

  99. Jiminy Christmas says:

    A basic economic principle is that people are very difficult to control outright, but they respond rather predictably to incentives. The incentive to eat junk is very powerful.

    As an example: if you lack both time and money you can go to McDonald’s and get a hot meal, as unhealthy as it may be, for $3. Marginally less worse, you could go to Taco Bell and get a couple of plain burritos. Any pre-prepared food made with fresh, healthy ingredients will cost you at least double that.

    Meanwhile, the government spends billions of dollars to subsidize the foods that contribute to poor health: all manner of animal products and corn (most of which goes to HFCS and feed for the aforementioned animals). The marketplace would look dramatically different if the subsidies were going to farmers growing organic vegetables and free range chickens.

  100. @ChaosMotor: “No, we’re fat because we’re poor.”

    Rich in the geo-historical sense. Calories have never been cheaper than they are in 21st-century America. (One of the reasons skinniness is a sign of wealth in our society is that our poor are the wealthiest poor in the history of the world, so can afford to be fat, so the rich have to distinguish themselves in the other direction.)

  101. nidolke says:

    GO MICHIGAN.

  102. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @bbbici: Hell no if you can count the ribs on a girl thats called starvation. Its totally gross. I would rather see a mildly plump girl anyday than a walking skeleton.

  103. Buran says:

    @rocnrule: “Someone else did it” is not an excuse to be rude to other people.

  104. quagmire0 says:

    1. Let’s not make excuses for fat people because they have health problems, most of the reason *why* they have health problems is because they are fat.

    2. I think the disposable income theory has alot of merit. Back in the day you were on one income and your Dad (in most cases) would never by that crap because he had to buy the staples. Things like McDonald’s, ‘eating out’, and ice cream were rare treats that your parents would ‘splurge on’. Add to that the fact that Mom would be making your lunch and dinner.

    3. Most ‘fad’ diets are only fads because people don’t follow through on them. My wife and I both lost a lot of weight on the South Beach Diet years ago and we still cook and prepare 90% of our own meals. We very rarely go out to the major fast food chains (we hit White Castle once or twice out of novelty, and of course pizza every once in a while). But anyway, my point is that if you follow through and actually make a dedicated lifestyle change, it works.

  105. Vicky says:

    I was curious so I started Googling. Here is the percentage of the state population living below the poverty line, as well as the ranking of per capita income, in each of the >25% states:

    Alabama: 16% / 41th
    Arkansas: 16.4% / 48th
    Kentucky: 16% / 42nd
    Louisiana: 16.8% / 50th
    Michigan: 12.3% / 24th
    Mississippi: 17.3% / 49th
    Tennessee: 15% / 36th
    Texas: 16.7% / 27th
    West Virginia: 15.8% / 47th

    Compare the 15% – 19% range:

    Colorado: 9.9% / 8th
    Connecticut: 9.1% / 1st
    Massachusetts: 9.7% / 2nd
    Montana: 14.6% / 39th
    Rhode Island: 11.5% / 13th
    Utah: 9.5% / 45th
    Vermont: 8.2% / 22nd

    I’m no expert or anything and I know there are a lot of factors. Just found this interesting.

  106. Sherryness says:

    @markwm:

    No, HFCS 55 is 55% fructose – HFCS 90, which is in most non-beverage items, is 90 PERCENT artifically elevated fructose. And it’s what your body does with that physiologically that may be impacting weight. Because your body does not metabolize it until AFTER it is sent to the liver, it also does not detect that those calories have been consumed while you are eating. Thus delaying your fullness signal, and prompting you to consume more calories. Also, the calories from fructose, since it is not metabolized until after it goes to the liver, turns into fat FIRST – and is then available for use.

  107. OwenCatherwood says:

    And just in time for this debate: [Yahoo! News]

    Study: Obesity is Socially Contagious

    People who notice their friend packing on pounds might want to steer clear if they value their sleek physiques.

    A new study finds that when the scale reads “obese” for one individual, the odds that their friends will become obese increase by more than 50 percent.

    The study, published in the July 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that obesity is “socially contagious,” as it can spread among individuals in close social circles. The likely explanation: A person’s idea of what is an appropriate body size is affected by the size of his or her friends.

    Conversely, the researchers found that thinness is also contagious.

  108. infinitysnake says:

    @rocnrule: I hear that a lot, but I somehow doubt any significant portion of us are densely muscular rather than just plain fat.

  109. RebekahSue says:

    Is THIS why the TSA is banning cheese?

    Seriously: the problem is that meals are prepared for people doing manual labor (construction, etc) and we’re eating those meals, sitting on our asses at work or reading blogs instead of going out. We drive instead of walking or taking a bicycle – I looked down town today, and the only place with a bike rack was the library.

    After I get paid, I’m getting a bike for getting to work – it will pay for itself in the gas I don’t buy, in five months, even taking into consideration that there are days that I’ll need my car (doctors’ appointments, supermarket, having to shuttle one or both my parents, et cetera). I’ll still have a big butt, but maybe I can get rid of some of the excess thigh.

  110. edheil says:

    The main thing that has changed since 1985 (in 1998, precisely) is that the definition of “obese” was adjusted to include more people in it. The fact that powerful drug companies sell weight loss drugs to people who are defined as “obese,” and that these companies have immense influence among the sort of people who make these determinations, is probably a *complete* coincidence.

    Perfectly average people became “obese,” and scare stories about the increase in “obesity” still fill the news today, despite the fact that people have about the same range of weights that they always did.

    People believe it because everybody likes a good moral panic, and it’s easy to believe “back when I was young, why, we weren’t full of moral turpitude like these fat kids with their terrible parents!” That shit *sells*.

    Here’s an article on the change:
    [edition.cnn.com]

    Via BigFatBlog:
    [www.bigfatblog.com]

    If there were no other amazing consequence to the moral panic caused by telling everyone they’re “obese,” we need only look to the fact that a pharmaceutical company is raking in bucks on a drug which will give you uncontrollable diarrhea but produces a small amount of weight loss. And they think that it will make them healthier, because weight and health are considered to be the same thing. Now *that* is a marketing *coup.*

  111. infinitysnake says:

    A number of things have changed, a lot of them contributing to a snowball weffect on health.

    We started allowing junk food advertising on Saturday mornings. Now, the majority of food ads aimed at kids are for poison.

    Junk food has gotten continually cheaper and easier to find. When I was a kid in 1985, the nearest fast food was at the mall ten miles away. My dad’s meal was just like mine, only without a toy. Today, I could choose from six places within walking distance of my house- all of which serve larger portions than they did thirty years ago. Worse, it’s all made of items that are artifically priced low because my tax money subsidizes it.

    There is a lot more available prepackaged food- groceries now have a tiny area devoted to fresh food, and miles and miles of boxes of “thirty minutes or less” packages filled with salt and cheap carbohydrates. YTou can get three meals a day out of boxes that don’t need refrigeration or even heating now.

    There is corn syrup (ie, cheap carbohydrate sweetener)in everything- even bread, meat, condiments, soup. Everything is sweeter.

    We don’t drink water. Again, when I was a kid, soda was an occasional treat, now nobody will drink unsweetened liquids- even schools and hospitals have vending machines. (The only clear memory of a VMs I have circa 1985 were at gas stations and laundromats.)

    Then there is the near impossibility of natural exercise- we drive evrywhere now, and even if we wanted to, where is there to walk to?

  112. TechnoDestructo says:

    @enm4r:

    BMI makes SOME sense when you’re looking at large populations. Really heavy muscular folks, people with Paget’s disease and such (people who would have very high BMI but aren’t fat) are relatively rare, as are small people whose weight is mostly fat (low BMI but are fat)

    Of course, even if you’re only somewhat towards those extremes, it seems unfair to you. And if someone is telling you personally that you’re too fat based on your BMI, it is. But when looking at nations as a whole, it isn’t nearly so stupid.

  113. dextrone says:

    Natural foods are better PERIOD.

    This is the SIMPLEST WAY IT CAN BE PUT:

    Being CHEAP is bad because:


    cheap=bad;
    cheap_occurs_by=debt=excessive_pricing_disorder
    <–
    Caused by “business”/ the big bubble known as the US market
    –>
    cheap_also=corn_syrup

    exhibit_A_summary=the problems in the USA are INTERCONNECTED.
    Business=US market=china=cheap=cheap food=cheap nutritional content=cheap is bad=if you can’t figure it out from here, I don’t know what to say.

    As for the why should I spend more money if I’m already poor issue, well, you probably wouldn’t be in this position IF people weren’t cheap, that 50$ pant is probably made in some place where they can make it for a reallllly cheap price, I know, I come from one emerging country{southeast Asia(starts with a B)[NOT INDIA]}, the quality is often good{the [non-government related] businessman there have good intentions and often want to sell good things}, but the workers are OFTEN/ALWAYS underpaid {I know alot of people}. And that not the beginning, now when in the USA, the pant probably costs ~40$, 30$ more than it should be {5$ for pant, 5$ for profit}.

    And now think about this, paying $60 for a pant that lasts 3 years is better than paying 40$ for a pan that lasts 1 year.

    [(60/3)and(40/1)} is the cost of the pant per year respectively.

  114. Rusted says:

    @JuliusJefferson: And it is soooo good. What is this obsession with looking like an escapee from a famine anyway? Wish I had some weight.

  115. burgundyyears says:

    @Sherryness:

    I don’t believe you’re correct. HFCS 90 is rarely used in food.

    See this UMD article (from today, no less!) and this glossary. HFCS-55 and HFCS-42, which more closely mimic sucrose, are much more commonly used.

    A number of sites claims HFCS-90 is more common in baked goods, but I’m not sure where that statement comes from, I can’t find an authoritative location for that statement.

  116. burgundyyears says:

    @mathew: Uh, I think the first line of that article you linked to has a typo in it, especially since the industry contention in the article is pretty clear and says HFCS does indeed contain fructose, so clearly it’s related to it.

    These HFCS-is-a-boogeyman articles consistently rely on the mistaken thought that HFCS = 100% fructose, which it isn’t. See my reply to sherryness too.

  117. markwm says:

    @bbbici:

    Not really. Thirty bananas in a day wouldn’t take much effort, although I wouldn’t want to be near your toilet once they did what too many bananas can do.

  118. Jamie Beckland says:

    Caloric density has increased as food costs have come down. The entire agribusiness industry is an economic system, and as such, is interested in delivering “more” for “less”. Technology has radically increased the industry’s ability to do so (The work I do is related to ag production and new product development). You have to REALLY care and be invested in everything you put into your mouth in order to counteract the billions of dollars that the industry puts creating things that you want. Most people are simply not focused on it in their daily lives.

  119. Dervish says:

    @Sherryness: Actually, I work with baked goods for a food manufacturer and we don’t use HFCS 90. In fact, according to [www.newsdesk.umd.edu], “HFCS-90 is mainly used in the production of HFCS-55, but is seldom directly added to foods and beverages.”

    OK, so, this has been bugging me for a while. I’ve done a little research (granted, not exhaustive) and I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for, which is scientific evidence that the HFCSs commonly used in food and drink, not fructose itself, is metabolized differently than sucrose. If any of the many HFCS detractors who post here can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. In lieu of any hard evidence, however, it sounds a whole lot to me like the latest “x is incredibly bad for you!!!” crap that tends to happen when people just repeat what they’re told.

    Again, if anyone can point me towards evidence to the contrary, I’ll retract what I’m saying here.

  120. Mom2Talavera says:

    @bbbici:
    @Murph1908:
    @jgkelley:
    @jamesdenver:

    If you haven’t already seen It I recommend the documentary ‘The End of Suburbia’
    Here are two clips

    burbs are the slums of the future
    [www.vsocial.com]

    Life in the burbs
    [www.vsocial.com]

    @JuliusJefferson:
    I starved for a week when I visited in-laws In Alabama. I’m vegetarian and they tried to feed me veggies laden in Crisco and lard…or cooked in chicken broth!:-P

  121. 1. If this topic interests you, try this book: [www.amazon.com]

    2. The BMI scale may not work for 100% of the population, but it does work for most of it. The ranges were put where they are to correlate with chance of health problems due to weight, not some random “what looks good” standard. Just because the extremes like NFL players don’t fit doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    3. The solution? Teach your kids how to eat and exercise, and do it by example. One family at a time is how things will change.

  122. AcidReign says:

        I’m labeled as “obese” by my doctor. And, I’m a guy who wears 32-inch waist pants. 5’6″, 166 total cholesterol, 110/60 blood pressure, 185 pounds, apparently makes me obese. I think I’m being punished for actually working for a living, and not being a vegetarian. Until I start showing signs of heart disease, I’m not giving up my bologna and Havarti cheese sandwiches for lunch!

        You CAN survive without AC in July in the Deep South. I work in an un-air-conditioned factory in Alabama. First, don’t worry about salt, except if you aren’t getting enough. Then, you need to drink lots of water. Coffee or soft drinks are no good. Water, and lots of it. There’s a hell-period every spring of about 7-10 days, where the temp first pushes up into the 90s, and you feel like dying. Keep pushing and drinking that water. Your body will adjust, and you’ll stop feeling so bad. Of course, having a 65-degree room to sleep in, when you’re off work, is nice…

  123. jeblis says:

    @AcidReign: 185 for a 6′ tall person is slightly overweight. 155 is the max for 5’6″. Odds are you’re overweight. Of course it depends on whether that extra weight is muscle or fat. For the overwhelming majority of people, it’s fat.

    I don’t see how you think you are being punished. Your health is something entirely separate from what other people think.

  124. food4thought says:

    Bioengineered foods they feed the hogs, cattle, chicken (fattening them up for market) are also fattening us up. The states that have high obesity also have high poverty rates. Cheap food (macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, etc) are cheap on nutrition too. We shouldn’t be laughing at this, we should be demanding an explanation. Why are they trying to kill off poor people? Also, some of these red states are in rural areas where there isn’t much public transportation. The people have to drive everywhere instead of walking or running to catch a train.
    Michigan (like Mississippi, Louisianna, Alabama)has lots of blacks; Texas has lots of Hispanics; Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia has lots of poor whites.
    They need poor hungry (and fat) people to work their lousy minimum wage jobs.

  125. Saboth says:

    No wonder it is hard to find thin, attractive, healthy people these days. Better move to Europe I guess!

  126. Saboth says:

    @supra606: How many athletic people with high BMI’s do you see running around these days? Like 1 in 200? How many blubbery 290 lb walmart walrusses do you see shuffling around? 199 in 200?

  127. phoenixcat says:

    I wasn’t a fatty until I started with the low fat foods they were pushing so long ago..I ate bacon and eggs and “real food” most of my life and was a normal weight.

    It doesn’t help that now have a desk job.. but 4 days a week of working out, and watching my diet has not allowed me to drop a pound in 2 years… I really think the chemicals in our food and food packinging is a big factor for all of us… time will tell.