From Frugivore — Here is a story that won’t help dispel the stereotype that America is the fattest nation ever. Obesity rates climbed at least 90 percent in over 15 states from 1995 to last year, according to a report called F is for Fat published by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood johnson Foundation.

Nine of the ten states with the highest obesity rates are located in South, with Mississippi leading the way at 34.4%, followed by Alabama and West Virginia, respectively. Remember, West Virginia was the first state that British chef Jamie Oliver tried to exploit for ratings on his now-cancelled Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Not coincidentally, those aforementioned states also lead the nation in high blood pressure and diabetes.

The report highlights the strain obesity related illnesses place on public health providers, Medicare and Medicaid. Even though the authors called for the government to continue to fund programs that help combat these food-related conditions, they were silent on the impact the 1970’s Green Revolution has had on the doubling of serving sizes and the abundance of cheap subsidized corn, soy, wheat, and factory-farmed meat.

In a Boston Globe story, Harvard School of Public Health professor Steven Gortmaker feels that the food industry’s practices are contributing to the obesity epidemic. Gortmaker laments:

(Continue Reading @ Frugivore…)

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  • trish

    I hate how this country is flooded with unhealthy food that is almost impossible to avoid, and then we demonize people when they become obese. Its not fair! and for the record not all people who are overweight are unhealthy or eat unhealthy foods. I am a size 16 vegetarian who shops at whole foods and has a diet abundant with fruits veggies and whole grains.

    so if people don’t like being called “fat” maybe it is because often it is an unfair title given to people who are doing the best they can to be healthy in the society that we live in. Also, there are a lot of thin people who eat lots of unhealthy food and simply dont gain weight..looks can be deceiving!

    • Rastaman

      Exceptions are not the rule, this country is flooded with all manner of things drugs and alcohol that are no good for the majority of people who over indulge but that is no excuse. This country is also flooded with a lot of healthy food which people do not seem to have problems avoiding. It is not only diet that leads to obesity but also activity. Once we consume the calories we are required to burn them.

      I do not know anything more about your lifestyle other than the fact you are a vegetarian but I am familiar enough with vegetarianism to know that not eating meat does not ensure proper nutrition. Overeating and unbalanced diets happen with vegetarians who consume too much carbs, too much fat or too much sugar. Skinny fat people are also an exception so stop making excuses.

    • trish

      Everything that you said is valid. However, being as how you do not know my lifestyle, my point was that fat does not always equal unhealthy. Even if this is not the rule it cant be ignored either.

  • Bren

    From my understanding, being fat increases the likelihood of being unhealthy. Being fat is different from being slightly overweight. Americans are eating themselves into an early grave. While I would agree that it is more expensive to shop at a Whole Foods/Trader Joes than at local grocery store, it’s not always about what you buy but how it is prepared. For example, my extended family is from the south, which is now dubbed the diabetes belt (very unfortunate) and whenever sweet potatoes were made, lots of sugar, nutmeg, butter, cinnamon, etc. were added. Some people are so used to eating sweet potatoes with all of these additional ingredients that they don’t even realize that sweet potatoes are naturally sweet without all of the extras! Many foods have the best health benefits when in their natural state.