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Americans getting fatter, faster

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Recent reports from two public health groups show that sixteen states have seen an increase in their adult obesity rate over the past year.

During the same time period, no state experienced a decline in obesity rates and only one state, Colorado, has a rate of below twenty percent.

Six of the sixteen states that saw significant growth experienced an increase for the second year in a row, and five states saw an increase for the third consecutive year.

Two years ago, only four states had obesity rates of over thirty percent. Last year, that number doubled. This year, twelve states have an obesity rate of over thirty percent.

Mississippi ranks as our nation's fattest state, while Alabama leads in diabetes. Roll Tide!

Also, the twelve states with obesity rates above thirty percent? Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. With the exception of the Okies, doesanyone else notice that our fattest states are all in the South? The South will rise again, but apparently only if they can get out of their La-Z-Boys first.

Then there's the depressing socioeconomic aspect of the report: thirty-five percent of adults earning less than $15,000 a year were obese, compared with twenty-five percent of those earning $50,000 or more.

Before I come off as just an another urban elitist waxing on the plight of those poor Southern fatties, I should note that my personal belief is that obesity's concentration in poor, rural areas has more to do with a lack of education about proper nutrition and fitness than with an inherent lack of self-control in people living there. 

So there's that, and then there's the well-documented fact that it's often easier to buy high volumes of low-quality food than it is to buy corresponding amounts of healthy food. Oh, and the fact that certain states are now conspiring to make sure their low-income residents are able to stock up on food that will almost certainly kill them.