Tennessee is the No. 3 fattest state in the nation

Special to the Banner

Posted 12/31/17

Millions of Americans are planning to make New Year's resolutions tonight, and probably a majority will fall by the wayside over the next few days.Many of these pledges will be about family, …

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Tennessee is the No. 3 fattest state in the nation


Millions of Americans are planning to make New Year's resolutions tonight, and probably a majority will fall by the wayside over the next few days.

Many of these pledges will be about family, finances, and bad habits. Most of us realize the bad habits are bad, but we just don't have the willpower to change.

Among the worst habits, proven by research, is over-eating. 

If your resolution is about eating, diet, and the need to lose a little weight, we hope you live up to the task and the challenge. But, you probably won't!

Americans are the fattest people in the world, including many of us right here in Cleveland.

In recent research by the experts connected with WalletHub, it was confirmed that we are a neighbor to one of the biggest "Fatvilles" in the nation.

Chattanooga, just down Interstate 75 a few miles, has the highest percentage of overweight adults for any city in America.

Chattanooga is No. 1 in this research category, followed by Sacramento, Calif., at No. 2; Anchorage, Alaska, at No. 3; and Bridgeport, Conn., and Asheville, N.C., tied for the fourth spot. 

WalletHub statistics show that more than 70 percent of the U.S. population, aged 15 and older, is overweight or obese. This should come as no surprise, considering the proliferation of fast-food establishments and increasingly cheaper processed foods that have negatively altered our diet.

Unfortunately, the extra pounds have inflated the costs of obesity-related medical treatment to nearly $316 billion a year, and annual productivity losses due to work absenteeism to more than $8.6 billion.

Chattanooga is also the No.  6 city in the nation wallowing in the overall obesity epidemic. Jackson, Miss., is No. 1; Memphis is No. 2; Little Rock, Ark., No. 3; McEllen, Texas; is No. 5; and Shreveport, La., No. 6, ahead of Chattanooga.

Rounding out the top 10 are Mobile, Ala., at No. 7; Lafayette, La., at No. 8; Winston-Salem, N.C., No. 9 and Knoxville No. 10.

We should be proud! Three Tennessee cities are in the Top 10. 

You don't have to look much farther than Chattanooga to see we live in the cradle of obesity... and the research, is even more defined.

Tennessee is the No. 3 fattest state in the nation, close behind No. 1 Mississippi and No. 2 West Virginia.

If you don't think the rich, fatty foods of the South are a factor in this research, look closer.

Following Tennessee, in numerial order, among the "Fattest States" are Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina. Indiana came in at No. 10, which is a surprise as the Hoosiers appear to be located outside the "Land of the Fat". Georgia challenged for a spot in the standings, at No. 17.

This may emphasize why the Southeastern Conference is so strong in football. We have the fat guys!

Some other statistics show why the Volunteer State is among the Top 3 in overall "fatness".

Memphis is No. 2 behind McEllen, Texas, with the highest percentage of obese adults.  We don't understand the difference in overweight and obese, but Chattanooga won the overweight category, and Memphis challenged for the title in the other. 

Memphis was No. 3 among cities with the highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure, and Chattanooga was No. 5. Memphis was also No. 4 in the percentage of diabetic adults.

When you look at these statistics, you realize this is a nationwide survey. There are 50 states, with Tennessee and several of its cities ranked at the top in several "fat" categories.

In this research, WalletHub analysts compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 17 key indicators of weight-related problems.

The data ranged from a share of physically inactive adults, to projected obesity rates by 2030, to healthy-food access. 

It appears "Fat" is becoming the new normal in America, and in the South, and the Volunteer State is doing its part.

We wonder if our neighbors, friends, and family members are willing to fight back.

One way would be to make a pledge tonight that you are going to attempt to manage your diet, and achieve some weight loss. You also should stress your need for more physical activity.

According  to the WalletHub report, nearly 81.5 million Americans, six and older,  were completely inactive in 2016. I imagine the remote enabled them to stay on the couch! 

The statistics above do not reflect well on our state, or our community. It also is not good for our health, well-being, and happiness.

Think about your physical situation, and that resolution... Happy New Year!


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