View Full Version : Red States Have the Fattest People

02-14-2005, 11:59 AM
Southern Diet Frustrates Health Officials

1 hour, 20 minutes ago Health - AP

By DANIEL YEE, Associated Press Writer

DECATUR, Ga. - Amid a national obesity epidemic and the South's infamous distinction as the "Stroke Belt," health officials have been trying to get diners to flinch, at least a little, at the region's trademark fried and fatty foods.

But nutritionists have found it's hard to teach an old region new tricks. How can Southerners give up delicious staples fried chicken, fried seafood, fried green tomatoes and cornbread slathered in butter?

Even at the Atlanta headquarters of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leader of the nation's anti-obesity campaign, the cafeteria serves up such artery-clogging regional favorites as biscuits and gravy.

CDC nutritionist Annie Carr said the agency is working to get its house in order by pushing the cafeteria to serve popular foods in healthy ways. The broader goals of the anti-obesity campaign are to educate people to cook with less fat and sugar and to promote the idea of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

And for the South, that doesn't mean vegetables and greens flavored with bacon and meat drippings.

"I don't think anything is wrong with the kind of vegetables we eat in the South it's the way they are prepared," said former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, the interim president of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, who grew up eating traditional Southern staples on a farm in Alabama. "We need more fruits and vegetables in our diet."

Then Becky Cleaveland is out with her girlfriends, they all pick at salads except for the petite Atlanta woman. She tackles "The Hamdog."

The dish, a specialty of Mulligan's, a suburban bar, is a hot dog wrapped by a beef patty that's deep fried, covered with chili, cheese and onions and served on a hoagie bun. Oh yeah, it's also topped with a fried egg and two fistfuls of fries.

"The owner says I'm the only girl who can eat a whole one without flinching," Cleaveland said proudly.

Health officials' concerns with healthy eating in the South date back to 1962, when the CDC noted a large concentration of counties with high stroke death rates in the coastal states of North and South Carolina and Georgia. More than three decades later, the high stroke rates in that region seem to have shifted west to counties along the Mississippi River Delta.

Health officials have spent thousands of dollars on grants to promote healthy eating, including sending nutritionists into community centers and churches. The food experts introduce healthier cooking practices, such as alternatives to frying and methods that reduce the fat in gravy and sauces. But those efforts have found resistance from some cooks who say the healthier recipes alter the taste of their dishes.

"Flavor is a big issue when you modify Southern cooking, then you lose a lot of the flavor," said Laurita Burley, a clinical nutrition instructor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. "The reputation of the Southern cook is at risk when you begin to modify it."

Much of the South's traditional foods date back to the days of slavery. Frying was preferable in the region's hot climate, since it didn't take as long as baking and didn't heat up a house as much. Plus, Burley said, workers didn't have all day to prepare meals; they had to get back into the fields to work. Lard was also plentiful. Today, frying still is popular, especially in poor areas of the South, because it is also inexpensive.

While it's quick, easy and adds flavor, frying loads ordinarily healthy foods with calories and fat.

"One of the common things in the South is that you fry everything," said Dr. Nicholas Lang, chief of staff of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock. "It's a major grease-transport mechanism there's no idea how much calories you get when you get that."

Other research has found that frying, grilling and smoking certain foods can cause chemical reactions within the food that can increase the risk of cancer.

"The best advice is to fry less and to eat their meat medium rather than well-done and do like their momma said and add vegetables," said Lang, also a professor of surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Back at Mulligan's in Decatur, owner Chandler Goff is quick to point out that the bar also offers healthy alternatives, such as salads and sandwiches that aren't deep-fried.

But he acknowledged that the "Hamdog" and the "Luther Burger," a bacon-cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut bun, are what draw attention.

As for Cleaveland, she says she doesn't think about cholesterol. "I probably should, but I do not. I'm only 25, maybe later." For now, she's able to maintain her 5-foot-7, 115-pound physique without regular exercise.

Regardless of age, Lang doesn't recommend the Hamdog, even as a one-time snack.

"If you choke that down, you might as well find a heart surgeon because you are going to need one."

Usually Lurkin
02-14-2005, 12:42 PM
But he acknowledged that the "Hamdog" and the "Luther Burger," a bacon-cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut bun, are what draw attention.

Donuts . . . is there anything they can't do?

02-14-2005, 01:22 PM
at least the "fatest" people can spell...

btw - I'm 6'0 and a sleek 190lbs...

02-14-2005, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by: XERXES
at least the "fatest" people can spell...

btw - I'm 6'0 and a sleek 190lbs...

typo (fatest) thanks for letting me know

02-15-2005, 07:03 AM
Is there a point to this? Including people who score low on IQ tests, does this mean overweight people's votes shouldn't count either?

02-15-2005, 07:42 AM
Perhaps there should be a call to re-apportion legislative representation based on per capita body-mass index.

I think the salient political point to be derived from this report is that "even more" of America supported Republicans than has previously been disclosed.

02-15-2005, 10:23 AM
Flawed logic. Because some red states are some of the fattest states, does not mean that all red states are the fatest states. Some, like Utah and Colorado are among the fittest. Some Blue states are among the fattest such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. If you look at the fattest and fittest cities in America, they are about evenly split among red and blue states. Source: CDC, BTW.

Ironically, a great number of people in those red states that are obese happen to be "blue staters" in that they meet the demographic identities of likely democratic voters in that many are poor and minority. It is unfortunate in this country that the cheapest food is among the worst food for you.

It is also unfortunate, because behind your comment is some sort of implication that obese people are either less inteligent or worth less as human beings because of their obesity. I find that disappointing.

In brief, not every article you read is about bad republicans. What you post often says more about you than it does anybody else. You might want to think twice before posting some of this stuff.

Usually Lurkin
02-15-2005, 10:51 AM
vinnieponte places one more pillar in support of his hypothesis that trailer-fulls of fat, dumb, and lazy rednecks were able to out-smart, out-work, and out-politic the liberal left more consistently, more convincingly, and more easily in each of the last few elections.

02-15-2005, 12:30 PM
Sounded to me like just another northern bigot. It's funny isn't it. A northern bigot would have a hissy fit if someone said anything even remotely that "might" be racial. But the northern bigot has not problems calling a souternor anything thing they want. Then think it's ha ha funny.

It's so much fun to watch those blue specks just shrink, shrink, shrink away.

02-15-2005, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by: dude1394
Sounded to me like just another northern bigot.
And coward...don't forget coward......

It's funny isn't it. A northern bigot would have a hissy fit if someone said anything even remotely that "might" be racial. But the northern bigot has not problems calling a souternor anything thing they want. Then think it's ha ha funny.
Ah.....the double standard that they conveniently forget.

It's so much fun to watch those blue specks just shrink, shrink, shrink away.

Genius. Great line. And so true as evidenced by all those who remember that same double standard and have spoken via their vote to rid the world of libidiots like Daschle et al.

02-17-2005, 06:25 PM
Regardless of vinnie's intentions with this article, there is an obesity problem in the south and southwest to people of all party affiliations. Particularly in Texas. Men's Fitness magazine runs a 50 fattest and fittest cities in America edition every year. During the last 3 years, between 3 and 4 Texas cities occupied the the top 10 list of fattest with Houston being number one twice. This is not a Red State, Blue State issue, it's a health issue. Things really are bigger in Texas, but not in a good way.

10 fattest cities

1. Houston
2. Chicago
3. Detroit
4. Philadelphia
5. Dallas
6. Columbus, Ohio
7. San Antonio
8. Fort Worth
9. St. Louis, Mo.
10. Indianapolis

10 fittest cities

1. Colorado Springs, Colo.
2. Denver
3. San Diego
4. Seattle
5. San Francisco
6. Virginia Beach, Va.
7. Honolulu
8. Sacramento, Calif.
9. Albuquerque, N.M.
10. Boston

02-17-2005, 09:44 PM
Hmmm...Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Ohio, Indianopolis? All representative southern states.

I would say a more relevant "bigotry" on this topic could be made based on affulence in stead of georgraphy. I believe I've seen corrollaries between wealth and fitness (you know trainers, personal leisure time to work out, etc).

Look at the difference in life-styles and culture of the two lists you mention, I would gather the that top half shop at wal-mart a little more frequently than the bottom.

02-17-2005, 10:06 PM
bigotry from vinnie yes....I actually thought epitome made a point though. I've seen those Men's Health write ups and it is written from a perspective of concern, not prejudice.

02-17-2005, 10:31 PM
I agree....That's why I didn't try to indict epitome with vinnie's bigotry.

02-17-2005, 10:35 PM
I was thinking about this this past week however. I've been in asia and the asian people EAT and DRINK man. It will be interesting to see how much of this will be proven to be more genetic in nature. More muscle mass, larger body size and body fat for example to deal with colder climates. But I'm talking out of my hat as I haven't done much reading on this.

I will say however that there is obviously biological issues involved here. Most folks as they get older eat less than before, not more, but still put 'em on. To me that screams of an internal metabolism having possibly more effect than just exercise/diet. Although it can be argued that with enough diet and exercise you shouldn't have this problem. But the same can be said with enough "work" you should be rich, but who necessarily wants to live that way.

02-18-2005, 03:11 PM
The biological argument is iffy, these are problems that didn't exist to this extent 50 years ago. It's a byproduct of easier access to food and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

02-18-2005, 11:26 PM
So if the sedentary lifestyle of the asian person has arisan (which it has, everyone works in an office it seems ) and the food is just as plentiful, why isn't the same situation happening. You can say it's iffy and I can't prove it, but I for sure don't see the asian folks I'm working with taking 1-2 hours for a noon workout. And they are some beer-guzzling and eating sons of guns...

I don't tihnk the biological argument is that iffy anyway, obviously it's biological for a teen-ager and under 40 person to have a much higher metabolism. Is that not biological?

02-26-2005, 09:46 AM
Hmmm....it seems more of those fat red voters will be happening as well. *chuckle*

Demographic projections don't make things look good for the Democrats after the census in 2010.

A projection by Polidata, a Republican-oriented political mapping and redistricting firm, shows population trends will make Republican-dominated "Red" states more influential in winning presidential elections and determining control of Congress after the 2010 census.

The new study forecasts that "Red" states will pick up a net six electoral votes, with Florida and Texas gaining three each. The "Blue" states carried by John Kerry, according to Polidata, will lose a net six electoral votes, led by New York's loss of two. Under this distribution of electoral votes, George W. Bush could have been elected last November without carrying Ohio.

This projection points to probable Republican control of the White House and the House of Representatives far into the future. It makes more urgent the contention by Howard Dean, the new Democratic national chairman, that his party needs to do much better in "Red" states.

02-26-2005, 03:10 PM
it occurs to me that a company who calls themselves a "political mapping and redistricting firm" is the embodiment of what is polutting our political arena...

issues and who they touch change, sometimes quickly. hard to predict.

02-26-2005, 03:33 PM
It makes more urgent the contention by Howard Dean, the new Democratic national chairman, that his party needs to do much better in "Red" states.

His party would also benefit from better leadership, and better candidates.

02-26-2005, 05:55 PM
Problem for the blue group is that the can't find either.