It’s always fun to talk about how fat we’re all getting and I’m never one to ignore a study that shows just how much strain we’re putting on the planet.
WalletHub, your one-stop shop for studies of all kinds, has released this year’s fattest states survey and as always Tennessee has made the top five. Okay, it’s number five, but it’s still top five.
Our proud state is third in being not only overweight, but also in obesity. We do a little better in the consequences from being fat, ranking ninth, and we’re seventh in food and fitness rank, meaning our diets are awful and we don’t exercise.
The youngest among us is perhaps the worst off as we rank fourth in the number of overweight kids and fifth for obese kids. There are indeed a lot of fat kids out there, but every time I go to a school for some reason, it looks to be about the same number from when I was in school 487 years ago. Of course, that’s a very small sample to draw any conclusions from, but they call elections from smaller numbers.
The older of us aren’t quite as bad off. We’re only 24th in adult obesity, which, going by what I see on a regular basis, seems kind of low. I mean, really. What are all the electronic wheel chairs in the stores for if we barely make it into the top half of fattest adults? I’m disappointed, people. You need to be doing more snacking after 8 p.m.
We’re third for worst cholesterol rate, which probably stems from all that southern cooking we’re eating. Or maybe it’s the fast food restaurant on every corner. I’m going with the fast food.
We’re 16th worst when it comes to eating fruit or vegetables every day. That’s not too bad considering how high we rank in everything else, but it’s still not great. Honestly, if it wasn’t for me, we’d probably rank much better in this category. Unless you count corn (I know we don’t count potatoes), I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a vegetable in my life. But to be fair, about once a year, I will peel an orange.
And I do eat watermelon, but like potatoes, they don’t seem to count either.
We’re sixth in the number of people with diabetes and seventh for people with hypertension (high blood pressure). I’m on a blood pressure pill and I asked the doctor how long I had to take it and he said the rest of my life. I protested and he said, “Well, you can stop taking them if you switch to a healthy diet and exercise regularly.”
So, rest of my life it is!
Despite all of this bad news we rank only 28th for obesity-related death. Once again, not the best number, but at least we didn’t make the top 50 percent. But what if you’re overweight and while driving down the road, you reach for some fast food french fries and crash into a tree, killing yourself? Is that a death caused by obesity?
The number one illness from being overweight is diabetes and while WalletHub didn’t break it down state by state, the report did say diabetes cost the country $327 billion a year. That’s an average of $9,600 per patient. According to my computer calculator, that means there are 34 million Americans with diabetes.
To make it even better, if you’re a man, having diabetes will cut 14 years off your life. If you’re a woman, you finally get to top a man in something. Diabetes will cut 18 years off your life.
For the record the District of Columbia is the “thinnest” area of the country, while Colorado has the fewest obese people. Idaho has the most overweight people, while Mississippi has the most obese. I think only 37 or so people live in Idaho, so that’s quite an accomplishment. Good for them!
It’s easy to make fun of a problem most of us share, but being fat is one of the worst preventable things you can do to yourself. I’m very aware of what it does and how nothing ever feels right and mirrors and scales are things to be hated and feared.
But you can still laugh. Just not at each other. That’s never nice.
If you’re like me, you’ll find the entire study interesting. You can see it at wallethub.com/edu/fattest-states/16585/