The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released the newest map charting obesity across the United States of Fatlandia. Here's the verdict for 2011:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should spend less time making maps, because we are all obese and they are doing a terrible job of controlling and preventing that.
While no state is slim or worthy of love, the least obese is Colorado, where a little more than one fifth of the population (20.7%) is believed to be obese. Other snobby states who think they're too good to be obese include Hawaii (21.8%) and Massachusetts (22.7%).
California, New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, New York, Utah, and Wyoming, also had obesity rates of 25% or under. Montana's on that list too because Montana has a freaking eating disorder and I know we're not supposed to talk about it but there. Now we said it.
Mississippi had the highest obesity rate in 2011 (34.9%) but also such a vibrant personality and a face that you could tell might be really pretty. Other states with an obesity prevalence of 30% or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
The big news for 2011 is that Tennessee has moved from the list of the most obese down to the list of "almost the most obese," while Indiana has soared to great new lows, taking Tennessee's place on the list of the fat shamed. However, the CDC warned that data from this year cannot be directly compared with previous years because some of the survey's methodology has changed.
Data for the map was gathered from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which sounds like the security set-up in a mental institution but actually just involves making phone calls to Americans and asking things like Are you fat? How fat are you? Americans are expected to respond with some sort of "I'm so fat…" joke (…when I go to the beach, I'm the only one who gets a tan!). If they can't come up with a joke, their state gets marked "obese" as punishment. It is a complicated and, some would say, backwards system.
(The actual methodology change is that the 2011 map incorporated data collected from cell phone surveys; previous maps were restricted to landlines. Researchers ask participants' height and weight, then use this to calculate their BMI. In the past, the CDC has found that self-reported heights and weights usually underestimate the prevalence of obesity, so move the decimal point one place to the right to discover what percentage of a state's residents are actually obese.)
Without further ado, here's a guide to help you calculate your self-worth. Keep in mind that your personal weight should not factor into this calculation. Base it solely on the cartoon color of your state or commonwealth: