Friday, July 25, 2008

Bush's Red States All High on Obesity List

There is another list of 'red' states- those whose citizens are classified as obese. Not surprisingly, at least to me, is the fact that the top ten are solid Bush-McCain states. Well 'solid' may be a poor choice of words. Apparently these folks are eating themselves to death.

The top ten are:

1. Mississippi, 32.0 percent
2. Alabama, 30.3
3. Tennessee, 30.1
4. Louisiana, 29.8
5. West Virginia, 29.5
6. Arkansas, 28.7
7. South Carolina, 28.4
8. Georgia, 28.2
9. Oklahoma, 28.1
10. Texas, 28.1

The survey found that one factor influencing the obesity rates was educational levels. For example, for men, obesity prevalence was lowest among college graduates (22.1 percent) and highest among those with some college (29.6 percent) and high school diploma (29.1 percent). For women, obesity prevalence was lowest among college graduates (17.9 percent) and highest among those with less than a high school diploma (32.6 percent).

Of course, that surely correlates with economic levels thus indicating that poorer folks eat more fatty foods and carbohydrates.

Yet what is the political implications of this survey? Is there a 1 to 1 correlation between obesity and the political landscape? Many will recall Thomas Frank's book, What's the Matter with Kansas? Frank wonders why the state of Kansas is so dark red on the political map yet its citizens do not share in the wealth nor opportunities of the Republican 'dream.'

Frank notes how the Republican Party has bamboozled Kansans with abortion, school prayer and flag-waving to obscure their economic misery. The folks in Kansas fall for this ruse November after November. Perhaps Frank is working on a new book: What the Matter with the South? They, too, have been equally bamboozled with an added race trump card added to the raw deal.

Is it possible to compare political savvy with obesity rates here in America? I'm not sure how valid that is, yet one has to wonder how deep political propaganda penetrates the electorate. Any political science ABD's want to tackle this theory?

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