The 10 Fattest States In The Country

The results are in for 2008! Find out which state is the fattest three years in a row. CalorieLab says that among the fattest states, those in the West and New England rank the lowest and that states in the South and the Rust Belt rank the highest. “Rankings were computed based on a three-year average of state-by-state statistics for adult obesity percentages from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System database,” according to CalorieLab. Check out the 10 fattest states, inside…

Graphic courtesy of CalorieLab:

Check out CalorieLab’s full list of the fattest and the fittest states to see how your state stacks up.

Fattest States 2008 [CalorieLab] (Thanks to Mark!)

Comments

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  1. That cat haz many cheeseburgers.

  2. pmathews says:

    Oh yay Texas. We dropped from 16th to 12th…wait…is that good? I need a cheezeburger…

  3. ClayS says:

    If you look at the range of all 50 states plus DC, for obese and overweight, 55% to 68%, no one state has much to be proud of.

  4. Angryrider says:

    More pie… ugh…

  5. suzapalooza says:

    Apparently being obese has no impact on self-esteem. I have been to the pool this summer…I’ve seen things that would made my skin crawl…

  6. pmathews says:

    @suzapalooza:

    I have a friend who says that tanned fat looks better than pasty white fat…not only is she wrong…she’s also fat…

  7. battra92 says:

    Wow, Massachusetts is only 48? Jeez, I see more Michelin Men/Women all the time around here.

    I don’t believe the Obese/Overweight percentages though since they are probably going on BMI stats.

    FWIW, I helped the obese category go down here but I just have 20 more lbs before MA drops back to 49!

  8. CaliCheeseSucks says:

    These statistics still don’t mean much. There are many “overweight” people who are actually in pretty good shape. It’s just that that way they calculate “overweight” (or even “obese”) is flawed.

  9. flyairdave says:

    This cannot be right. Ted Kennedy alone makes Mass #1.

  10. That is one fat cat. I wonder if it lives in Mississippi…

  11. pmathews says:

    @CaliCheeseSucks:

    You are right though. Technically I am overweight, but I also weightlift alot. According to the bmi charts, since I’m 5’6 I should weigh about 165. I’d be rail thin if that were the case. I weight 220 lbs but alot of it is muscle mass. Whoever made those charts needs to build some muscle.

  12. baristabrawl says:

    Wouldn’t it be more ironic if they had done this in the form of a pie chart?

  13. SpecialEd says:

    How does Michigan compete with all those southern-fried states?

  14. Snakeophelia says:

    @baristabrawl: Oh, too funny. Considering all the southern states top the list, I suppose it would have to be a pecan pie chart.

  15. Carl3000 says:

    Mississippi always pwns everyone in obesity statistics, every time I’ve looked.

  16. PinkBox says:

    Yay, my state is on there! I guess my being all of 100lbs didn’t help the ratio.

  17. ClayS says:

    I’m curious how these statistics were compiled. Where did they get heights and weights of all residents of the states? Or did they just do a phone survey on say, 1000 residents in each state.

  18. Carl3000 says:

    Of the top 20, 19 are red states from the 2004 election.

  19. pmathews says:

    @ClayS:

    They correlated with fast food sales. The fast food companies loved the idea of making money by selling statistics…easy as pie?

  20. ClayS says:

    Quickly looking at some of the other statistics, it seems overweight/obesity is inversely proportional to fruit and vegetable comsumption, which isn’t surprising. More surprisingly, overweight/obesity is also inversely proportional to alcohol comsumption. Apparently, if you don’t drink alcohol, you instead eat more.

  21. I don’t like averages and medians with this stuff. Why? Standard deviations. Here in Alabama, I’ve also seen a LOT of the skinniest people I’ve ever seen. And not just the eating disorder types…also some of the fittest people I’ve ever seen.

  22. milk says:

    Louisiana FTW

  23. balthisar says:

    @SpecialEd: The south is full of ex-Michiganders, of course.

    Or… we’ve been prosperous so long, that of course we’ve all become fat. You’ll notice that we’ve improved from number 9 last year to number 10 this year. As our prosperity decreases, so does our obesity.

  24. backbroken says:

    At first glance, it looks like this roughly corresponds with the list of states with the highest poverty levels and lowest levels of education. Causation/correlation?

  25. Rupan says:

    @SpecialEd: The answer is that Michigan has a combination of 6-7 months of winter and a decent supply of southern style cuisine. Add them up and you get one fat state.

    Plus we are the “car capital”. Most people don’t believe in public transportation. People in this state don’t get a lot of exercise. I have seen people get in there cars to drive 3 blocks to the corner store instead of walking. For the record this paragraph does not apply to me.

  26. @backbroken: Poverty is the big driver. Calorie-dense foods are the cheapest and people on a budget usually buy calorie-dense foods. These foods are usually the least healthy options available, but on a price-per-calorie basis, are 10-50x more economical than eating right.

    That’s the bottom line here. It’s not that people don’t know how to eat right–it’s economics (and to a degree, tradition. Just go to a Southern family BBQ some time.)

  27. pollyannacowgirl says:

    @suzapalooza: You’re so right! I see twenty-something girls with spare tires hanging out of their tops, and cottage cheese hanging out of their mini-skirts and they have NO SHAME about it.

    I don’t know if it’s good or bad that these girls think they’re sexy regardless of their fat. Part of me says that self-esteem should not come from body image. The other part of me thinks these girls should be embarassed about being so fat so young.

  28. RandomHookup says:

    That’s why most of the states bordering Miss. have an unofficial motto:

    Thank God for Mississippi!

    Somebody has to be last.

  29. MissPeacock says:

    @Ash78: Also, here in B’ham at least, public transportation is a joke so everyone drives everywhere. We don’t have very many areas that have nice sidewalks that are conducive to walking, either. Maybe another reason is that it’s so freaking hot here most of the year that no one wants to go out and risk a heat-stroke from exercise. And it’s not like poorer folks can afford a gym membership. People in more dangerous neighborhoods probably don’t want to out and walk anyhow.

    Agree with you about the Southern tradition, though. My grandmother will have us all over for family events and feed us foods she must have fried up in lard. Soooo good.

  30. @MissPeacock: Absolutely most misguided public transit layout ever. Even when I worked downtown, I never saw a bus with more than 5 people on it. And the buses don’t really run into the suburbs at all, thanks in part to our having 15 towns crammed together, each with its own mayor and council. Oh, well.

    I find it really ironic that most of the neighborhoods with sidewalks are in Mountain Brook 90210. Every morning I drive through there and see tons of people out jogging and walking…because they can afford the “luxury of exercise” (and that’s what it is today!)

  31. MissPeacock says:

    @Ash78: But we are going to get the Olympics!!! :D :D :D

    B’ham News Link

  32. MexiFinn says:

    How did Hawaii score 2? I lived there for a while, and there are some HUGE mo-fo’s who live there…

    I’ll have to rub this in my brother’s face. I’m in MA and he’s in VT, always bugging me that it’s “healthier” up there…

  33. @MissPeacock: I had not seen that. Ugh. Maybe he can raise sales tax from 10% to 15% to secure some extra funding.

    And maybe we can have the track & field events at the Bham Race Course. All attendees get a bucket of free coins to play the slots at Quincy’s 777.

    /done ranting on local politics

  34. Bladefist says:

    I think the government needs to put a sin tax on unhealthy food. This would curb all the unhealthy eating and force people to eat right.

  35. pollyannacowgirl says:

    MissPeacock: It’s my OPINION (based on research by the Weston A. Price people) that lard is not as dangerous as it’s portrayed to be. Neither is coconut oil. Or butter.

    There’s a whole swirl of factors, but animal fat from untreated animals eating untreated foods, minimally processed, is better than a lot of the “healthy” oils they’re marketing to us.

  36. idx says:

    I am shocked that Louisiana is ranked 4th. Our food is far superior to anything you could ever find in Mississippi, West Virginia or Alabama. Everyone knows that.

  37. WalrusTaco says:

    Ask yourself how many McD you see in Colorado and how many there are in Miss. And I think its an ethnic thing- fast food companies have been going after African Americans, and for the most part, fast food will make you blow up, especially with all that salt. BTW check out the Chipotle nutrition calculator- I thought I was eating healthy and now I won’t eat there again.

  38. CaliCheeseSucks says:

    @Bladefist:

    That’s a terrible idea. As was stated above, many people that eat unhealthy do so because they can’t afford to eat healthy. Putting a tax on unhealthy food just makes it harder for them to buy any kind of food.

  39. IndyJaws says:

    Woo hoo! Indiana dropped out of the top 10! Must have been my diet over the last year that sealed the deal.

  40. cmdrsass says:

    @Bladefist: We know you don’t believe that. Stop trolling.

    Also, I think all obesity statistics should be presented in the form of pie charts. Mmmmm … pie.

  41. AngryEwok says:

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least to see the Southern states in the lead… and frankly I’d be disappointed if we weren’t up there. A big, grand family supper is part of our culture, here in Alabama. I know of very few families, black or white, that don’t consider big suppers with all of the family to be a thing of tradition.

    There aren’t just fried foods and BBQ on the table, either… since a lot of us grow our own fruits and especially vegetables, all of the food groups are always on hand and in abundance. The thing that is killing us, literally, is the lack of exercise. In the old days our folks could eat as much as we do because they worked in the fields all day – we drive everywhere and sit behind desks shuffling papers.

    I’ve done my part to get out of the obese category, and I see a lot of people in Tuscaloosa, Alabama making big lifestyle changes, too. Hell, I’ve lost over 20 pounds in 5 weeks just by cutting out the fast food and running/walking a mile a day.

    That steroid laced, processed fast food is the enemy.

  42. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Bladefist: and they need to heavily tax all food producing companies, but looking at the body mass of the american populus, it is obvious that they are having massive profits.

  43. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @CaliCheeseSucks: & @cmdrsass:

    This site was founded on a heavy sarcasim movment. Sarcasim is not trolling, now attacking the sarcies is trolling however.

  44. Cap'n Jack says:

    @ClayS: That’s including just “overweight” people. I’m overweight but I’m not fat. Just got a few extra pounds.

  45. jblaze1 says:

    This should be transposed with presidential voting. I’m sure it is a high correlation.

  46. AngryEwok says:

    By the way, the argument that healthy food is more expensive is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars since cutting out fast food and eating healthy.

    Common sense alone should tell you a home-made sandwich and some chips, or a little Tupperware of salad, is cheaper than a double cheeseburger combo. And you save money on gas.

  47. allstarecho says:

    Of course most of the top 10 is in the South.. we fry everything. But we live well into our 80s and 90s too. So keep making fun of us! haha

  48. @AngryEwok: Common sense alone should tell you a home-made sandwich and some chips, or a little Tupperware of salad, is cheaper than a double cheeseburger combo. And you save money on gas.

    True. That’s how I eat.

    But I don’t work a physically demanding job where I’m trying to pack in enough calories to get me through the afternoon shift. That’s where Hardees comes in.

    Unhealthy foods are simply much cheaper per calorie, that’s empirical. Breading and/or frying are the simplest ways to add cheap calories to anything.

  49. Bladefist says:

    @AngryEwok: I agree.

    I make my own pizza at home, it costs me under $4 a pizza. It’s delicious and healthy. You can buy the burgers that are 90/10 meat/fat ratio, that are fairly inexpensive. You can get the baked chips instead of the normal chips. Wheat bread instead of white. Drink water instead of pop. Pasta is so cheap it might as well be free. Salad is cheap.

    Eating healthy is my lifestyle, and it’s extremely cheap to do. Yes, you will have to get off your butt and cook. But cooking is a pretty enjoyable experience.

    I really don’t think Obese America cares though. And I don’t think they are Obese because they are poor or anything. Maybe lazy. I’m sure its a hard addiction to break, they have gotten in their head that some of the best food has to come from fast food. When all you need is some chicken breast and some marinade, and you can make crazy delicious meal at home for 4 bux.

  50. MisterE says:

    I fondly remember watching the “fattest man” or “fattest woman” on earth while visiting the circus. Today, it seems anyone who is of normal size and weight is the freak of today.

  51. Got sidetracked there–regarding unhealthy food being cheaper.

    Remember, we’re not talking about eating unhealthy fast food vs. cooking at home. ANYTHING cooked at home will be a fraction of prepared price. I’m referring to unhealthy food from the grocery store. Tyson breaded chicken patties or 80/20 Bubba Burgers are about 1/4 the price of fresh chicken breast or 90/10 beef. Never mind the additional prep time in the latter.

    So even when comparing apples-to-apples, it is absolutely cheaper to buy crap than it is to buy quality. The reduced prep time on the crap is just icing on the cake.

  52. AngryEwok says:

    @Bladefist: Same here.

    My lunch went from costing me around $8 a day average, to somewhere around $3. I haven’t even bothered to calculate gas consumption. I know I’m saving something like $200 a month and I’m reducing my chances of having to cover medical bills brought on by obesity in the process.

  53. failurate says:

    @pmathews: De-Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt.

  54. battra92 says:

    @Bladefist: Exactly so.

    I make my own pizza sometimes (in a cast iron pan no less) but I can never seem to find something that tastes as good as Pizza Hut / Papa Ginos.

  55. ganzhimself says:

    I’m really surprised to see Wisconsin is not in the top 25… Mind you, we’re 26, but we’re not in the top 25. With all the beer and bratwurst, I thought for sure top 15, if not top 10. Doing my part to bring that number down, but I still have some work to do!

  56. battra92 says:

    @Carl3000: Well, there’s a hell of a lot of fat Democrats as well.

    I think with the south a lot of it is just a lifestyle and what they eat. I mean, fried chicken is awesome stuff but you really can’t eat it every day.

    I actually read something about presidents and fitness and what not. George W. Bush is like one of the few fitness oriented presidents we’ve ever had. Apparently for Cleavland and Taft eating was a hobby!

  57. atypicalxian says:

    @Bladefist: Don’t give Gov, Corzine of New Jersey any ideas.

  58. Hijakk says:

    I’m suddenly proud to be from Arizona (Can’t be too fat there, it’s too hot) and currently be living in Colorado (Outdoorsy stuff seems to be the state obsession, though with how pretty it is here, I’m not too shocked.)

  59. failurate says:

    @ganzhimself: Cheese Curds. They squeak when you eat them.

  60. satoru says:

    Culture has as much to do with how obese a region is as its local cuisine. For example, the French have a diet that would have a nutritionist here reeling: heavy on butter, milk, oily foods like duck, and pastries. Yet they are much healthier and less obese than you would imagine. Of course the big ‘surprise’ is that the French just eat less of it. Very small portions, and no snacking during the day allows them to stay relatively healthy despite what their diet indicates.

  61. satoru says:

    Also pulling from the CDC data let’s see a few other tidbits. For example, they did a survey of “During the past month did you engage in any physical activity”. For the YES answer, from lowest ranking:

    1) Puerto Rico 56.3%
    2) Mississippi 68.2%
    3) Guam 68.4%
    4) Tennessee 68.5%
    5) Virgin Islands 69.6%
    6) Kentucky 69.7%
    7) Louisiana 70%
    8) Alabama 70.2%
    9) Oklahoma 70.4%
    10) Texas 71.7%

    Seems that being fat correlates well with being a lazy slob too, surprising!

  62. Youthier says:

    @SpecialEd: We were way ahead of the curve on the whole declining economy thing.

    Add in the reasons Ruplan said… there’s been a big debate locally about how difficult it is to ride a bike or walk anywhere due to the absolute insane amount of contstruction on local roads.

  63. Javert says:

    @balthisar: I would have to believe the complete opposite. It is the fact that these states are also among the most economicially challenged leads to the weight problem. As noted by another poster, the cheapest food is also some of the worst/most caloric. A secondary factor is the psychological factor. If you are depressed or stressed, we used to grab a smoke to get that moment of pleasure inducing hormones. Now, smoking is out so what is the next easiest way to grab a quick piece of pleasure…how about a 99 cent double cheese burger from McDs? It was odd when I was in France a few weeks ago, the first think you notice is that everyone looks thin but then you also quickly notice that it looks like everyone smokes. Maybe we are our species own worst enemy. We have the ability to use an externality to improve our ‘mood’ be it tobacco, alcohol or food. I think every western culture has an abuse in one of these areas. To cope with their lives, I think many Americans simply eat. Unless you are in Massachusetts. Then you open your mouth and spout something pretentious to obtain that good feeling.

  64. ganzhimself says:

    @failurate:
    I see your cheese curds and raise you deep fried cheese curds…

  65. balthisar says:

    @Javert: Except, until relatively recently, Michigan has been a very, very prosperous state, but has been on the fat list for years.

  66. mizmoose says:

    I’m rather disturbed that right around the same time the “New rules for being a good commenter” are posted, that includes the rule “No sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or hatred”, a post is made encouraging the dislike, or even hatred, of fat people. The so-called “obesity crisis” is nothing more than a way to sell media copy, pharmaceuticals and snake oil for billions and billions of dollars.

    I’m sure there are lots of you who will say, “But ‘everyone knows’ that being fat causes health problems” and I’m sure most of you believe the saying that “fat kills”, but if that’s so true then why are people living longer — and healthier — than ever?

    Why aren’t there posts listing which states have the tallest people, or the most disabled? Because that’s bunk, too. But nobody thinks twice about that.

    Don’t believe me? Start with Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit” episode about the “obesity crisis” and then dig from there. The information is out there, including the fact that the majority of the studies that you read about showing the alleged dangers of obesity are done by data-mining, which is not a valid method of doing a scientific study. (If you can pick and chose which data to examine, this is not science.)

  67. eirrom says:

    I live in Wisconsin and we have a lot of “fatties” here.

    Between the brats, cheese and beer, there’s no wonder. Wisconsin actually went down which doesn’t seem possible.

    During the Summer, it is very likely you’ll see some 400lb women in a Summer dresses with hairy arm pits all over the place. It’s Summer and they want to show off the “goods” :(

  68. mergatroy6 says:

    @mizmoose: I could see your point until you referenced Las Vegas magicians as your source of data.

  69. screwtapeletters says:

    @ mizmoose – agreed 110%. BMI is a scale made up by a Belgian statistician, not a doctor, and it was composed based on what people weighed in 1830 when health problems and poor nutrition were rampant! I mean give me a break.

    Not to mention that those stats also include people who are even 2 or 3 pounds “overweight” and athletic bodytyped people who have more muscle mass compared to their height. Just look up how many sports stars are “obese” by their BMI.

    All of the information on the “obesity crisis” is constantly, pardon the pun, inflated to goad you in to buying memberships, creams, shakes, clothes, off of special menus, equipment, medications and believing that even a child today should weigh as much as the average child did in the mid 1800s.

  70. MD4Prez2032 says:

    Aren’t those the poorest states in America also?

  71. picardia says:

    @idx: I used to live in New Orleans, and you’re right. At least the food Louisiana natives are getting fat on is worth the eating.

    God, I’d kill for a crawfish poboy right now.

  72. Trai_Dep says:

    The thing when cats get THAT large is it becomes a vicious circle, since nearby food is attracted to the feline mouth due to it’s planet-warping gravitational pull.

  73. Trai_Dep says:

    @backbroken: “highest poverty levels and lowest levels of education…”
    And likeliest to vote Republican.
    Hmm, no wonder the Republican brand is suffering.

  74. Trai_Dep says:

    Question to those that live in the states listed: is it harder to get fresh vegetables there? Or, is it a dietary choice type of thing? No snark, curious.

  75. 6a says:

    I see this comes out right around the time the Nathan’s Famous contest stories start appearing.

  76. failurate says:

    I think for the average person the BMI is a pretty good statistic at 5’8″, 163 is a reasonable weight.

    Percentage body fat + BMI seems even more fair.

    Pointing to extreme athletes or extreme anything is not a good way to prove a point.

  77. failurate says:

    @Trai_Dep: The funny part is that you think poor uneducated people vote.

  78. ludwigk says:

    @battra92: Having lived in both Massachusetts and Tennessee, I can assure you that Mass’ obesity problem are nothing compared to the south. People are huge down there, and its a startling percentage.

    I’ve lived for about 2 years each in Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio, and California, and I grew up in Tennessee. The south really takes the cake on this one.

    @Trai_Dep: It’s not harder to get fresh vegetables (they all come from Mexico and S. America in this country if you’re shopping in a large grocery store), but its the dietary culture. Everything is fried, or made of cakes and pies, or both. There is higher use of saturated fats, such as vegetable shortening and animal fats instead of healthier oils.

  79. SpdRacer says:

    You would figure the southern states with there love of meth would actually be lower on the list!

  80. ajn007 says:

    I’m going to move to Colorado so I’ll be thinner.

  81. VeryPlainJane says:

    I would like to dispel the myth that “all” overweight people are just too lazy to eat a healthy diet. We have to remember that the cheapest foods tend to be the unhealthiest food. I remember when I was first starting out my food budget wasn’t centered on trying to buy the wholesome food items. I tried to stretch my finances to cover food that would keep me filled and to stop the hunger. So, that would be pasta, rice, canned goods, and highly processed proteins. Fresh fruits and veggies were a luxury!

    I wonder how you could check these stats against states with the lowest rate of access to affordable healthcare and/or the highest rates of uninsured.

    [www.census.gov]

  82. varro says:

    @ClayS: “Until adulthood, when booze becomes a staple, sugar is a natural substitute for parental love.”

  83. varro says:

    @Ash78: It’s also that we’re descended from hillbillies, slaves, and the “illegals” of 100 years ago.

    To these people (myself included), food was scarce within our parents’ and grandparents’ lifetimes. Our grandparents remembered the Depression and food rationing of WWII, and encouraged our parents to “Eat! Eat!”, which came down to us, and is a hard habit to break in the era of HFCS and fried turkey.

  84. varro says:

    @MexiFinn: I guess there aren’t enough Samoans to pull Hawaii down too far in the rankings.

  85. varro says:

    @Javert: The CDC site also has rankings on alcohol consumption, and it’s nearly an inverse of the obesity statistics.

    All the Southern states high in obesity were low in alcohol consumption, and Colorado was near the top.

    Wisconsin was in the middle of the obesity, but near the top of the alcohol list.

  86. carbonmade says:

    Woo woo! Go Colorado! 300 days of sunshine and plenty of outdoor activities keeps us thin and healthy!

  87. Trai_Dep says:

    @varro: So you’re saying, “Drink alcohol. For Health!”
    I’M fine with that. :D

  88. Ghettoshark says:

    It’s funny that Wisconsin isn’t in the top 25. The main two food groups here are beer and brats…

  89. tjevans says:

    Woohoo!

    We’re number 1! We’re number 1!

    (from Hattiesburg, MS)

  90. failurate says:

    @ajn007: I was thinking of moving to Mississippi so that I would seem thinner by comparison.

  91. AbrogatedOrder says:

    Gosh, my state (West Virginia) is so close to being number one at something! We’re almost the poorest, and now this. We’ll never win.

    For the record, we’ve got a lot of big people here, but we’re not fat, just built big.

  92. chubba-baby says:

    Anyone done an overlay of red/blue states and this obesity map?

    I’d be curious about the statistics of it all…

  93. mizmoose says:

    @mergatroy6: Penn & Teller are hardly the source of my data, they’re a place to start. You want cold data? start with the likes of junkfoodscience.blogspot, a nurse who reads the studies, disects them, and points out the garbage.

    There are other sources, the best one being to learn enough medicalese to read the studies yourself and see the absolute nonsense that gets published in peer-reviewed journals these days.

  94. mizmoose says:

    @failurate: BMI is pure nonsense. It’s been pushed by pharmaceutical companies who want doctors to prescribe their weight-loss drugs (“Here’s a free chart, prescribe our drugs!”)

    Classic example of the nonsense of BMI: most sports figures are extremely obese.

    BMI does not take into account any fitness data. Fitness is far more critical to long term health than your weight and height ratio.

  95. drjayphd says:

    @mergatroy6: To be fair, I’m sure Penn & Teller themselves would tell you to never take their word as gospel, but to do your own research.

  96. KarmaChameleon says:

    @Hijakk: Honey I don’t know how long you’ve been away from AZ but there are some huge people in this state. Mesa was like #4 or 5 on the top 10 fattest cities in America list not too long ago. Nobody here exercises, they drive everywhere because public transport is a joke.

  97. spryte says:

    @mizmoose: Just because BMI doesn’t work for people with excessive muscle mass doesn’t mean it can’t give anyone a good idea of the state of their body. If you don’t have a lot of muscle it will give a decent rating.

    Looking at the list and seeing that a lot of the states near the top tend to be conservative or “red”, and a lot of those near the bottom tend to be liberal or “blue”, it does seem to corroborate the idea that health food – tofu, vegetables, brown rice, seaweed, etc – appeals more to the latter. I just personally have not met many people who would describe themselves as conservative and are also into health food/veganism/etc. And like others said, there is the issue of money. I know when I’ve been having financial troubles is when I cut down on shmancy vegan lunches and eat a lot more peanut butter sandwiches.

  98. AcidReign says:

        @Ash78: If you’ll look on the baking aisle, Birmingham area Walmarts actually have more lard on the shelves, than olive oil.

  99. two minutes says:

    What? Where’s Hawaii?

  100. ChuckECheese says:

    Since we’re celebrating overweight (mostly) southerners, I feel I need to share a recipe that will make you as fit as an Alabamer. It’s cornbread salad, and it’s really good.

    Make a small pan of cornbread and let it get a bit stale. Break it into small chunks, like for stuffing. Make a 2-cup batch of ranch dressing, preferably with buttermilk, mayo and one of the packets. Fry up a half-pound or so of bacon, drain and crumble. Grate a half pound of cheese. Drain a can of pinto beans and rinse. Drain and rinse a can of corn. Dice a rib of celery, a bell pepper, and a bunch of green onions. Maybe grate a carrot and dice a few tomatoes. Chop up about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite pickles if you like, and/or add a few diced pickled jalapenos.

    If you’ve got time, mix up all the veggies and season with some salt, pepper, and a spoonful of sugar or a few spoons of pickle juice. Mix all the ingredients up, check the seasoning, and give it at least 30 minutes, but no more than 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

  101. Wubbytoes says:

    I can vouch for Oklahoma being full of fat people, since I’m one of them.

  102. Trai_Dep says:

    @ChuckECheese:
    But.
    But..
    But…
    There’s no salad in there! :P

  103. rdldr1 says:

    *insert “why isnt my state on the list because I see fat people all the time” post here*

  104. Aubin says:

    @mizmoose: Athletes usually have fitness levels two standard deviations from the mean, the people who are closer to the average are the main targets of BMI. Unless you want to argue that the majority of people in America have less than 12%/18% (male/female) body fat, it’s fairly irrelevant what people at the tails of the distribution are like.

    Body fat requires custom equipment or time consuming calipers, but BMI is just weight and height and can be done effortlessly using a doctor’s charts, hence the popularity.

  105. ChuckECheese says:

    @Trai_Dep: Sometimes when you say “salad,” you really mean “salad dressing.”

  106. Edward Lionheart says:

    I bet there’s a correlation between Rush Limbaugh listeners and obesity, too. Ignorance + self-indulgence… bad combination. Bon appetit!

  107. magnus150 says:

    Texas isn’t on this list? My state disappoints me, come on fellas, we need to step this up!

  108. i love living in california

    also i agree with the first poster. that kitteh can haz too minny cheezburgers

  109. BytheSea says:

    @backbroken: I noticed there was an ethnic association too (except Cali).

  110. sonneillon says:

    Ack I’m a fat guy in the fittest state. I need to move to a fatter state so I’ll be slimmer than average.

  111. alpacalypse says:

    Don’t have stats on me, but it seems that the most obese states are the poorest ones. Not surprising; the least healthy foods have the highest ratio of calories to dollars.

  112. kameronkilchrist says:

    @idx: i totally agree. for most louisianians, their favorite salad is potato. also, most louisianians, when confronted with these statistics would exclaim, “my god! the others don’t know what they’re missing.”

  113. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Bladefist: I think that’s a great idea. Walmart would be forced to start stocking healthier foods or risk losing a substantial portion of their business.

    Of course, Walmart’s competitors would jump on the bandwagon, then all of the food conglomerates pumping out processed garbage will at last be compelled to change their evil ways. Win/win.

  114. thelushie says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: They stock just as much healthy food as any other grocery store.

    I think the idea that the poorest states are the heaviest has some validity to it. I know the Robert Byrd era has been a horrible thing for WV. If anyone could be blamed for WV being on the poorest (and heaviest) states it would be him. Now, they want to elect his secretary (Anne Barth) to Congress. It will never end until new blood is put into office.

  115. thelushie says:

    @ChuckECheese: I bet you have an awesome cornbread recipe. Care to share?

  116. jcargill says:

    What?! No Wisconsin?! Have they ever been to Wisconsin?!