Friday, July 18, 2008

We're No.3! We're No.3!

"Thank God for Mississippi" should be the official Tennessee state motto. Once again, Tennessee tops a nasty national list:
Top 10 Obese States

These are the 10 states with the highest levels of adult
obesity, according to a 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.

1. Mississippi, 32.0 percent
2. Alabama, 30.3
3. Tennessee, 30.1
4. Louisiana, 29.8
5. West Virginia, 29.5
6. Arkansas, 28.7
7. South Carolina, 28.4
8. Georgia, 28.2
9. Oklahoma, 28.1
10. Texas, 28.1
Source: Associated Press

But hey, we're not number one! Not yet! That distinction goes to Mississippi. Whew.

I don't know why we Southerners are so fat. I know we like our fried chicken and biscuits 'n gravy and all-you-can-eat buffet and big honkin' SUVs instead of walking and it's so freaking hot here in the summer that being athletic takes twice as much effort as it would in a bottom-ranking state like Colorado. But geez, people. Don't you get tired of being stereotyped as fat and lazy?

We really need to pull ourselves together. This calls for a statewide intervention. This affects everything: healthcare costs, education, jobs, the economic vitality of our communities. Come on, Tennessee. We can do better. Restaurants: cut the portion-size. I don't know why Cheesecake Factory feels the need to serve a trough of food, or why I feel the need to eat it all at one sitting.

Here are some ideas: Eat at home more often. Eat fresh more often. Walk more. If you do eat out, split an entree with your dining companion. Can we at least strive to be number 5 in next year's list? And number 10 the year after?