OBESITY IN AMERICA State Lines
Obesity, defined as a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, is not equally distributed across the U.S. Check out this map to find out which state is the fattest (hint: it's the namesake of mud pie), which is the thinnest (think Coors Light), and which spends the most money on obesity-related health care (its governor pumps iron).
Read on, after the break, for more of America's (and the world's) fat facts.
The stereotype of pregnant women experiencing bizarre cravings has long had people believing that all expectant mothers go a little crazy when it comes to food and drink over the course of nine months. Though the image of a petite woman screaming at her husband at 2:00 in the morning, "I WANT BROCCOLI AND STRAWBERRY SYRUP!" may lead us to imagine that all pregnant women gain extra, non-baby weight, a recent study shows that those who are more likely to over-gain weight during pregnancy are overweight or obese mothers-to-be who underestimate their weight at the beginning of term.
As this story on CNN notes, since 2003, 46 people have died in accidents—one airplane, two boat—partially attributed to overweight Americans. It seems that the standards used by regulators to determine how many people can occupy a vessel are based on an average passenger's weight from 1942: 140 pounds. When the Lady D water taxi sank in Baltimore's Inner Harbor in 2004, killing five people, "the average weight among the 25 passengers when the accident happened was 168 pounds, making it 700 pounds overweight, investigators said."
It would be nice if our corrective action was to get our national average weight back down to 140 pounds to match up with the standards—and get more people onto boats and airplanes. Instead, of course, regulators are simply going to adjust the weight estimates to match our appalling girth. —Eric Adams