Monday, July 5, 2010

No Skinny States

There are no skinny states.

The annual state-by-state look at obesity, based on CDC data, shows that obesity is getting worse. Obesity is increasing rapidly, with about 2 million more obese adults than last year in the United States, by one estimate. The geographical distribution of obesity has not changed much from last year, so I won’t belabor that point. Suffice it to say that the states that lean heavily Republican are the heaviest, with obesity rates about 3 percent higher in Republican states than in Democratic states.

Worse than the obesity rates themselves are the anecdotal reports that suggest that people are becoming less sensitive to obesity. Many people, it seems, say their weight is about average, when in fact they weigh more than 90 percent of the people around them. Meanwhile, people at the high end of the normal range tend not to realize that they are just a hamburger away from being considered overweight.

There is always good news to be found on this subject, people who went from obese to normal, and people who discovered new ways to manage their weight. The obesity problem will not be with us forever. But we have not turned the corner yet.