Apparently There's A Lotta Cheesy Bread in Mississippi

messages Aug 04, 2009

My previous post was in regards to the atrocious offerings on kids' restaurant menus and how I think it's one of the many reasons we are suffering from a growing obesity epidemic in the US.

I came across this great interactive map (if that's not a rousing nerd statement right there, I don't know what is.  I'll put that right up there with the "I'm so excited for tofu tonight" I blurted out on Sunday, which is pretty huge considering my love of meat) that shows obesity rates for adults as well as children for each state.  You can click on each state to get more information as to what's going on there.

Holy Mississippi!  It ranks number #1 in obesity for both children - 44.4 %! - and adults - 32.5%.  Seriously:  44.4% of children in Mississippi are obese or overweight.  Next is Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee.  The states with the lowest rates of childhood obesity:  Minnesota and Utah are tied at "only" 23.1%.

This is a complex problem and I feel that like the environment, we need to stop ignoring it, take it seriously and start doing something about it.  Fast food and junk food are cheap and everywhere.  Many schools no longer have PE.  Lots of kids don't have access to safe places to play.  Too much time is spent in front of televisions, computers and games.  The long term consequences are going to be monumental, and I'm not just talking about health care expenses.  I'm also referring to quality of life.

You may or may not have heard about the story taking place in South Carolina where a mother is being charged with criminal neglect because her son is 555 pounds.  The issue being explored is responsibility.  Is it her responsibility?  

In your opinion, who is responsible for what's going on in America?  Is it the parents?  Should schools be more accountable?  What about the government?  I'm curious to know your thoughts.... 


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