Thursday, July 19, 2007

Obesity: A Visual

Check out the growth of obesity epidemic in visual format. It's a map of the U.S. and a year-by-year update starting in 1985. It is pretty startling. It was not that long ago that no state had an obesity rate higher than 14% (1985). Now, practically every state is at 20% or higher and a full third of states are 25% or more. Mississippi, Louisiana, and West Virginia are over 30%!

Fast food and snack food companies say that people have to take "personal responsibility" for their choices. That may be true, but this kind of shift does not occur without some SERIOUS help from marketing and a titanic shift in cultural values and behavior.

Notice that Kentucky and several other southern states are always among the most obese states.

TURN THE TIDE. Personal choice, legislation, whatever...I do not care. Just do your best to find an effective way to change this. It is hurting our bodies, our minds, our lifespan, and our quality of life. We do not have to be ultra-thin, world-class athletes, beautiful, or have ripped abs. We can be a lot fitter and allow our bodies an easier way do their job by streamlining a bit.


Travis said...

Interesting stuff.

The problem I have with BMI is it suggests that I would have to lose another 51 pounds to be at the very upper limit of "normal."

I can tell you from experience that my frame with 185 pounds or less on it is pretty skinny. You'd have to take that skeletor frame and trim 6 lbs from it to get to normal.

I'm comfortable with being overweight. I'm 5'11 (closer to 6'0 actually) and I weigh 230 pounds roughly. I'm setting my goal to lose another 20-25 pounds then I'll be very content.

According to BMI I'd be half way. That seems a bit crazy to me.

Cort said...

Absolutely on target, Travis. BMI is often a very poor measure of fitness or "ideal" body weight. That's different for everyone.

But this is not "overweight." This is "obese" by BMI. Even though BMI is flawed, t's the TREND that is so alarming.

Travis said...

Sorry, didn't mean to trivialize the point. The trend is very alarming. Especially over the last few years. Unbelievable.

I'm still, by BMI, "obese." After the sausage biscuit and milk this morning, I'm feeling a bit obese.