What I find most interesting about all this is….well, a couple of things, actually.
1. They blame our obesity on the Southern diet. I think this is somewhat of a cop-out. I know we’re a bit fond of stuff like deep-frying and cream cheese, and that isn’t exactly conducive to health and fitness, but…
Ever eaten much German food? Heavy, starchy, and meaty, yet most of the Germans I know are slim and fit people. A friend explained it to me this way: “You’ll eat something like pure fat on a piece of toast with some sort of cream sauce or gravy, but you’ve probably biked 10 km (~6 miles) to get there to the restaurant and then will bike the 10 km back home, or you may bike on to the next city to go to some event.” That leads me to my 2nd point.
2. We’re inactive. That seems to explain our excessive girth, given that other cultures with fatty diets aren’t always necessarily destined to be fat. For such a sports obsessed state as we are, I find it terribly ironic that we’re fat and unhealthy because we don’t move around!!! People here talk about what sissies residents of California, Colorado, [insert blue state of your choice here] are, but they’re sure as hell a lot more physically active than we are.
My dad came to visit us last night as he was driving through coming back from his trip to Arizona. He said he was amazed at the number of people running and biking there, even in the heat. He also said that he met a lot of attractive women in their 40s who were still in great shape. Not so much here.
3. We live in a heavily agricultural state, and yet our citizens are not taking advantage of the bounty of great fruits and vegetables grown right here in our our great state. Peaches, okra, eggplant, cabbage, corn….The farmer’s market here in Tuscaloosa is improving, and of course the Pepper Place Market in Birmingham is absolutely fantastic. Going there really makes me proud of my state. Why would I want to eat peaches trucked in from California or Mexico when I can eat something grown right here thatwas picked yesterday and is going to be 10x better than something picked before it ripens? Our weather (drought this year aside) is so perfect for growing a lot of things, and as someone who comes from a family of farmers, I know that people here struggle to compete with corporate farms in other parts of the country. But people get lazy. They’d rather eat whatever greasy slop comes in a paper wrapper, or they eat a lot of frozen stuff that isn’t nearly as good as what you can buy fresh. So they eat more to get the same amount of “satisfaction,” as it were. I really miss Grow Alabama
I just hope that people start taking action, rather than just sighing about their destinies and what-not. As
pointed out a while back, we have some of the best cardiovascular health doctors and programs in the country. I think there’s a connection, and I wish there weren’t. We’re literally killing ourselves with our culture.