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Old 07-19-2008, 11:35 AM
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,790,127 times
Reputation: 5454


A few days ago I was reading a news article on the internet which listed the states in order by which had the highest percentage of overweight people. All of the southern states had the highest percentage and took the top ten spots. I wish I could find that link again but as I recall Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were the top three with over 30% of the population overweight. It just makes me wonder why this is the case. I don't know that the diet of people in the south is all that different from other parts of the country. Afterall, we have fast food restaurants from coast to coast. One thought I have is that maybe a hot humid climate might tend to make people live a more sedentary lifestyle. When I go out and mow the lawn I'm soaking wet by the time I'm done and can't wait to get back into the house. Can anyone else explain why people in the south are so overweight?

Old 07-19-2008, 12:16 PM
2,243 posts, read 4,473,321 times
Reputation: 1478
because most of the south is still rural and you have to get in your car to get anywhere. Most of Nashville (which is a fairly major city) doesn't have sidewalks so even if you wanted to walk to the store it is dangerous to do so.

I walked a lot more when I lived in the northeast and never had to diet, now I have to watch what I eat and actually work out since I can't walk to work
Old 07-19-2008, 12:17 PM
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,392,668 times
Reputation: 567
Because we eat poorly and don't move enough.

End of thread.
Old 07-19-2008, 01:23 PM
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,790,127 times
Reputation: 5454
After I wrote this I started thinking that someone might take offense to it and consider it to be insulting to southerners. That wasn't my intention and in fact people are getting heavier almost everywhere in the US so it's a national problem and not something that just affects the south.
Old 07-19-2008, 02:00 PM
Location: Liberty
55 posts, read 264,606 times
Reputation: 31
Default Garbage in, garbage out...

No offense should be taken.. Part of the problem is both the fact that you have to drive everywhere to get around the state. There is little to no public transportation, no Amtrak and Nashville is just starting to consider rail transit options.

The other issue is diet. The thousands of fast food restaurants and chain stores which do not offer much in the way of nutrition beyond empty calories and fat litter the sides of Tennessee's highways and streets. Processed food from thousands of miles away.. Focusing on promoting locally grown food, fresh vegetables and a more sensible diet would go a long way to combat the obesity problem.
Old 07-19-2008, 03:38 PM
Location: Southeast
625 posts, read 4,096,548 times
Reputation: 362
The numbers are heavily influenced by race and socioeconomic status, of which the states you mention have a higher % makeup, which skews the numbers. Also, the percentage of people who actually care about their health around here is very low.
Old 07-19-2008, 04:11 PM
15,338 posts, read 27,525,235 times
Reputation: 18820
I have no idea why this was posted in the Nashville forum and am moving it to General US.
Old 07-19-2008, 04:28 PM
3,664 posts, read 8,836,042 times
Reputation: 2138
Part of the reason is the food. It's part of the culture to endulge in the Southern cuisine. Sure it tastes good, but too much of it is high in fat, starch, and cholestoral. It's also as many of you mentioned, people drive everywhere. It could also be lack of excersize especially during the hot summer months.
Old 07-19-2008, 04:34 PM
8,376 posts, read 27,775,737 times
Reputation: 2366
It's neither. It's the socioeconomics. The south is America's poorest region, and we are one of the few countries in the world where the more processed foods cost less than foods in more wholesome or natural foods. The only state in the South to have a poverty percentage below the national average is Florida, and note it also does a lot better on these obesity studies than other southern states (the nation as a whole actually), so I don't think its the heat and humidity or the lifestyle. People in COLDER climates actually tend to store more fat (which probably explains why the relatively wealthy northeast is GOOD but not the BEST on these studies), although it seems that on CD, people are particularly sensitive to high temperatures...of course lifestyle DOES play a role (look at Colorado) but I don't think it's as big of a role as diet and socioeconomic situations that vary it.
Old 07-19-2008, 04:42 PM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,178 posts, read 67,314,530 times
Reputation: 15823
Socieconomics. Urban sprawl with an accompanying lack of sidewalks. Lack of mass transit. High humidity discouraging outdoor activities. There are a myriad of reasons.
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