This is Why You’re Fat

Corndog Pizza ( via flickr)

Corndog Pizza ( via flickr)

I came across this outstanding blog called This is Why You’re Fat, which asks people to submit photos of food they find that is just blatantly unhealthy. I’ll admit, some of the food on this blog made me really hungry (like the 60-pound Rice Krispy Treat, or the Corndog Pizza). Most of the foods included bacon (Wolfy, there’s a lot of new recipes for you to try).

But, after getting through six pages of fat-laden foods, it really made me think about the people eating these foods. Now, I’ve never counted calories in my entire life, but it can be pretty obvious which foods are healthy, and which aren’t. Americans are among the most obese people in the world. Part of the reason for this is sedentary lifestyle, part of it is diet. It’s kind of scary. I tapped into some research – some of the visual results are below. One is a chart of the U.S. that breaks out the percentage of obese adults in each state. The other is an animated gif that shows the progression of obesity in the U.S. since 1985 (you may have to click the image to get it to the animated version). 

I’ll keep checking the blog to marvel at the kinds of things that people are eating. But, jeez – something’s gotta change if we’re ever going to reverse this obesity epidemic in the United States.

Fattest States 2008 (

Fattest States 2008 (

Obesity in US 1985-2006 (Wikipedia)

Obesity in US 1985-2006 (Wikipedia)


10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    tracecohen said,

    Hmmmm seem to be mostly in the south east, I wonder why…

    • 2

      Mike McDowell said,

      Good call. Could be a number of things, ranging from policies to diet to the cultural makeup of the area. I don’t have all the info as far as that’s concerned, but if anyone in the southeast has some insight, I’d appreciate it.

  2. 3

    DB said,

    Ahhh, I was wondering why all my clothes aren’t fitting anymore! It’s the food!

  3. 4

    Will Hull said,

    Well, everything in the south is fried or with fattening sauce on it and there isn’t a culture of appearing thin. Think about it. Deep fried ice cream, candy, chicken, etc. It is a regular part of the diet.

    Maybe it is that we are free to be, feel and think what we want to be and do with our lives. For some it is an addiction to the taste that they can’t give up and for others there is a void of peer pressure that stigmatizes the fatty content in food. Think about it. How do people eat in California and New York compared to Mississippi or Louisiana. There is a stigma that goes with eating fatty foods in CA and NY vs MI and LA.

    I only fear what would happen if socialized medicine actually became a reality in America. Would there be a mandate to educate eating healthy and a penalty for not eating healthy.

    Currently there are health care providers that charge extra for smokers on a company health plan vs. non smokers and also there is a similar policy for obese people vs. non-obese people.

    Perhaps if we weren’t so concerned with working all of the time (if we had more time in our personal lives, perhaps we would work out more) and dependent on our cars for transportation, we would be better fit people in the United States.

  4. 5

    Wolfy said,

    It’s mostly the sedentary lifestyle. Anecdotally. Bike racing burns 8000 calories per hour. and you can at most intake 4000. so over the course of a 24 or 12 hour race you will ALWAYS see a deficit of calories and loose weight no matter how many bacon cheese logs you eat.

    There are a lot of ways to loose weight, and I’ve seen many people try them all. While there are a few people who can stay motivated to be fit by the way they look or could look in a bikini, for most people it’s not enough.

    However if you want to be able to ride 100 miles, do a 40 mile backpacking hike, or run a marathon, the rewards will be higher and the experience will be far more motivating. There are some people who will never be into that. And some of those people just won’t ever care that they are out of shape, overweight, and going to die sooner as a result of it.

    To each his own. Let’s not pretend that there are people out there who are fat because of any other reason than they are making a conscious choice not to change.

    My point is that you can talk about causes and effects all day and night and the only thing that changes behavior is discussions of motivation. Think about it from a marketing perspective. If america is becoming more obese and less fit then the comfortable accepted place for people to be is becoming sedentary and unhealthy and we are positively reinforcing that all the time.

    Imagery of fit healthy beautiful people clearly isn’t helping. When you think about it, the only thing that media shows as a benefit of being fit and healthy is more sex which you can 1) get in acceptable proxy from the internet and 2) doesn’t help those of us who are married.

    For me, fitness and lifestyle are the same. To be fit i need to have fun and to have fun i need to be fit. I don’t necessarily look awesome in a speedo, but I’m more likely to skinny dip in a glacial lake after three days on a trail anyway…


  5. 6

    Wolfy said,

    Make that 400 and 800 calories not 4000 and 8000…


  6. 7

    Matt said,

    Happy Birthday Brother!

  7. 8

    Rob said,

    So wow. Other than the “Americans are fat” newsflash, which is more portion size and sedentary lifestyle than food type, you’ve basically cut me out of your life. Sure, hit up DBandMcQ, but ignore your buddy Rob. Et tu, Inco?

  8. 9

    Katrina Nada said,

    Another reason for this is the simple fact that socio-economic standing has everything to do with having access to healthy foods. Urban children growing in poverty ridden neighborhoods eat poorly because government food aid and nutrition education don’t really exist in these neighborhoods. The overall mentality is that beggars can’t be choosers.

    • 10

      Mike McDowell said,

      I can agree with that. As the economy has gone south, fast food chains (like McDonalds) have seen an uptick in business. So, what’s your take on the INCREASE over the years. Are the poor getting poorer? The areas of obesity are concentrated in the same spots, but overall obesity is rising quickly. What’s up with that?

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