Sunday, September 27, 2015

Arkansas Leads the Way

America's Fattest States: Back in 1980, no U.S. state had a rate of obesity higher than 15 percent. In 2014, however, obesity rates were 30 percent or higher in 22 U.S. states, according to a recent report entitled The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.


Jeff Meyerson said...

I can't believe they beat Mississippi. But then look at Mike Huckabee....


Deb said...

Two anecdotal comments:

When I was growing up, there were only two really large female entertainers: Totie Fields and Kate Smith, and Kate Smith was the absolute last word in being "fat". If you really wanted to insult or hurt a girl, you'd say she was as big as Kate Smith. A few years ago, I was looking on YouTube for the song "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band (there was a reason I was looking for it, but it's lost to the mists of time). Anyway, I found a clip of the group singing on the Hollywood Paladium tv show. Kate Smith was the host. I kept looking at her and wondering how this admittedly full-figured but hardly the size of many women I see daily could have been the dernier cri of largeness. She looked like a farm gal who liked her vittles, but not someone who had been raised on nothing but junk food, fast food, and processed food.

In much the same vein, I was watching a documentary about John Waters last week and when Divine appeared on screen he didn't seem anywhere near as big to me as she had seemed back in the "Pink Flamingos"/"Female Trouble" era. In fact, frankly, in her "I don't give a damn, I'm gorgeous and I know it," she sort of anticipates the "curvy diva" trend in some much of our reality tv culture.

/Take my advice, buy stock in insulin manufacturers.

Unknown said...

A friend of mine was humiliated in college when he got a physical and the doctor said he was obese. He was large, but these days he'd be dwarfed by three-fourths of the people in Texas.

Patrick Murtha said...

What is really interesting about this is that awareness of fat as a health issue has increased exponentially since 1980. So much for public health education.

What happened? Did everyone just get busier and start eating more junk and convenience food? Or (as I suspect) is advertising of these foods simply lethally effective?

When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, pizza was a once-a-month treat. Now, some people eat pizza practically every day. That's the sort of cultural change that will result in these figures.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Deb, don't forget Mama Cass.

Otherwise you are right on target.


Jeff Meyerson said...

Here's a story we heard when we lived in Carroll Gardens (which used to be part of Red Hook, but I digress):

Whenever Kate Smith came to New York to perform (or whatever) she'd make a pilgrimage to Court Pastry, where they'd take her into the back room to get her favorite Italian pastries.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Jerry House said...

As the government changed its weight charts, many people I know went to bed slender only to wake up obese.

Deb said...

Yes, that is true, but I still think people are definitely bigger today--and big in a very unhealthy looking way (lots of abdominal fat, which is very dangerous). When I look at Kate Smith, I see a big but proportionate woman, which is what "big" meant as little as four decades ago.