News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim

|| 16 September 2018

Solving The USA Obesity Problem:

A Suggestion

The reports from Hurricane Florence have been horrifying. But equally horrifying have been the recent reports that obesity rates in the USA have reached levels unimaginable even a decade ago. Seven states now report obesity at 35% or higher. More than a third of their populations. With a good percentage of the other 65% overweight. West Virginia takes the (dubious) most-obese prize at 38%.

In the CDC provided image below you can see the breakdown by states. Dark red are those states with more than 35% obese, with the orange more than 30%, yellow more than 25% and green Colorado and Hawaii at the lowest only more than 20%.

Map showing percentages of population that are obese by state

One of those seven states with the more than 35% of the population obesity rates is Oklahoma, the state in which I was born and grew up obese.

Anne Barone at age 11 (left) and age 16 (right).

In the photos above there I am (left) at age 11 — about 145 pounds then and (right) age 16 when I was at 165, sometimes higher. Oh dear!

But if I am proof of anything, it is that childhood obesity need not mean adult obesity. This year marks 49 years since I shed 55 pounds. At age 74, I have kept the fat off almost a half century. The photo below was taken mid-July 2018 three weeks after my 74th birthday.

Anne Barone at age 74


Besides my own weight loss and maintenance, I believe I qualify as an authority to offer suggestions for fighting obesity for another reason. My “convenience store” is a Walmart Supercenter, a quick 3-minute drive from my house. So I spend a certain amount of time in the checkout line there, a prime location for studying the shopping carts of the obese.

Two conclusions from my observations:

1. The obese do NOT buy healthy food. No fresh fruits and vegetables, nor lean meats in the shopping carts of the obese.

2. For a good portion of these obese, the fat-promoting processed and junk food that overflows from their shopping carts is paid for with taxpayer money.

Note: "Food stamps" have now been replaced (at least in my state) by cards, resembling credit or debit cards. But you know the card being used is a food assistance card because after that payment the cashier asks the customer for additional payment for items such as magazines or nail polish or whatever not covered by the card.

We taxpayers could do much to combat the obesity epidemic by insisting that taxpayer-funded food assistance money buy foods that promote good health — not destroy it.

No one begrudges the poor their package of cookies or chips. But when they use the taxpayer-provided food money to buy little that has any nutritional value — and when most of what they buy is food that has been identified as being unhealthy and contributing to obesity, then we are wrong not to insist on some controls to see that at least some of that taxpayer-provided food assistance goes for healthy food.

Green beans yes. Sugared soft drinks no.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

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