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Why are Southerners so Fat?

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posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:44 AM
Hey guys,
I usually don't have much to say about things, I just like to read what others think about stuff, but this time I really needed to chime in.

First of all, I'll address the A/C issue. I live in North Carolina. As in many other southern states, the humidity here is killer (I can't imagine what it's like in Louisiana). In times past, houses were built in such a way that there was a constant draft (hence the constant complaint about "this drafty old house"). This was actually an advantage in humid areas, because it kept the moisture levels in the house down, and reduced the problem of mold. Since air conditioners were invented and became popular, houses have been designed to be more air tight (though not completely, of course) for the sake of energy efficiency. Indeed, the original purpose of air conditioners was not to cool the air, but to remove the humidity from it (condition it). That's according to the engineer I spoke with at the electric company here. That's why he recommended keeping the air conditioner set in the upper 70s, and then leave it alone (don't adjust it). That will yield maximum moisture removal while not using a ridiculous amount of power. The problem is that people got used to the idea of the A/C being used to "cool" the air (which it does quite well), and it's now over-used, and it makes breathing and living in the open (humid) air more difficult than if we had to live without them completely. So, turn the temp on your A/C up, but not off, and spend as much time outside as possible.

The second issue is the food. The food is rather greasy. I like it that way. I've had blood work done recently, and my cholesterol levels are perfect. My blood pressure is perfectly normal. I'm 5' 10" and I weigh 168lbs. This was not always the case.

About ten years ago, I weighed 310lbs. It was hard work, but running makes the difference. No other exercise was effective at taking the weight off. I imagine that if I was working out in a field all day, I never would have gained the weight to begin with. And that's the crux of the matter. Until recently (the past 50 years), southerners NEEDED to eat a lot of calories, just to get through the day. Field work is hard, and if you work in the field all day like my dad and grandpa did, you WON'T be fat.

Another issue to consider is indeed the poverty issue. Quality of food is one thing, but a big part that no one has mentioned is the social classes and their different approaches to food. I was reading a book a few years back about how wealthy, middle-class, and poor people approach one another, problems in life, and the entire world differently.

With respect to food, this is the general idea conveyed by the book:
Wealthy people are concerned with how the food is presented.
Middle-class people are concerned with how the food tastes.
Poor people are concerned with whether or not everyone go enough to eat.

Since many folks in the generation before mine grew up in relative poverty, the social concerns that were handed down to them from their forefathers were poverty-type concerned. When food started getting cheaper due to farm mechanization (tractors, and such), folks had never had to consider how much is too much. So they were able to eat more (because food became less expensive), and had to do less physical labor. Hello weight gain.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Flame away.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:51 AM

Originally posted by Blanca Rose
Another thought on the obesity in the south.

The first time I ordered iced tea when I moved here, I was served a huge glass that was about 32 oz. I thought to myself, nice, since it was really hot out.

I took a sip, and directly spit it out. I asked the waitress did she make a mistake and serve me something else, to which she wondered if I meant to ask for un-sweet tea.

The sweet tea down here is about 50% sugar, and I am not kidding. It's almost like syrup.

If you ever order tea, and don't like it sweet make sure to specify down here in the south.

I was born and raised in Southeastern Louisiana, and we HATE sugarless tea...bring on the sugar

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:55 AM
Yes and the next article will be called "Why Are Northerners So Dumb?".\
Apparently we in the south are so fat we can't be dumb so they're so thin they have to be stupid. Everyday the masses in our once great nation are
getting dumber people for the love of all that's good wake up.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by endless_observer

Great post, and I totally agree.

Along with social class, comes the reasoning behind pigs feet, fat back, greens, black-eyed peas, etc.

These were the foods that were available to the poor people after the elites had taken all the better cuts of meat and vegetables.

A great story regarding black-eyed peas:

Originally used as food for livestock, they became a staple of the slaves’ diet. During the Civil War, black-eyed peas (field peas) and corn were thus ignored by Sherman’s troops. Left behind in the fields, they became important food for the Confederate South.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 12:34 PM
I have lived in Texas all of my life and have always had a hard time keeping my weight down.... I started cooking at home and avoiding eating out and now weigh the same as I did when I was discharged from the Marine Corps 40 years ago.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 12:51 PM
I'm a southern bell and I LOVE my southern food. The trick to staying trim in the south is to exercise and not eat large amounts of the excellent food.

What I don't get is why the northerners are so fat! The only food I've found in the north that doesn't taste like bland old people food is the polish sausage. I have to admit that's some good stuff.

But seriously, I've been all over the country and I see just as many fat people in the north as in the south. The USA as a whole is a nation of fatties.

In closing... There's no better comfort food on earth than biscuits and white gravy.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 12:51 PM
I can tell you it does have a lot to do with the climate.

I lived in Spain for almost 10 years, since I was 8 until I was 17, moved there between birthdays, and man the food in Spain is great.

My cousin's mother, who was also a cousin of mine, she passed away a few years back, she was an excellent cook.

In Spain people eat more than ANYWHERE in the U.S. In Spain you eat breakfast, then when in school, or even at work everything closes down and you have 2 hours lunch, which many kids if they live close to home we used to go home to eat, and take a quick nap, then at around 5-6 pm we eat "merienda" /snack, which most of the times is a "bocata"/sandwhich of white bread with balloney, or ham, or pork, cheese, and sometimes lettuce and tomatoes. Although many times we don't eat as much lettuce and tomatoes as we should, and then dinner is a feast worthy of a King, or a Queen if you are female.

Of course the bocatas are normally almost a foot long.

In Spain the food is served in different plates, and you can choose whatever you want to eat, similar to a buffet. Foods are also greasy, and although there is "some" obesity in Spain, the thing is that the weather most of the time is good for taking long walks everywhere you go.

Also people drink wine with foods in Spain, even children are given some wine to eat.

There is also lots of stuff to see everywhere, and the sidewalks are as wide as a lane, and in some places as wide as two lanes for traffic.

Summers in Spain are not as hot as in the southern states, although sometimes they are but they have very large public pools people go to.

I lived in Florida, and moved around when i was in the Navy to different places like NAS Pensacola, NAS Jax (Jacksonville) and such, and one of the things I noticed is that except for really large cities, there are almost no sidewalks to speak of, and even in large cities sidewalks are only found in some areas.

I moved up north to Wyoming, although I moved all over the state, and lived in hotels in other states due to work, and up here there are even less sidewalks to speak of.

When you see people running, or walking in the streets many times they have to do so right on the streets. But the weather/climate up here is a lot nicer than in the south.

I would walk even if there are barely any sidewalks as much as possible around here because the weather is a lot nicer. In the south you barely want to go out, and I have seen sailors/airmen fall to the ground dehydrated in the south because of the unbearable heat.

Having experienced and watched how much more people eat in countries like Spain, i can tell you that in comparison people eat more healthy in the states. You just walk a lot in countries like Spain.

You can walk for miles in Spain and there is something interesting to see, and there are ALWAYS lots of people in the streets at all hours of day, and night.

One more thing, in Spain there are more fast food, as well as bars than anywhere in the States.

[edit on 10-7-2009 by ElectricUniverse]

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 03:00 PM
not surprising that I.Q. goes down as wastlines go up.
the south sucks.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 03:22 PM

Originally posted by STFUPPERCUTTER
not surprising that I.Q. goes down as wastlines go up.
the south sucks.

Uhh yeah, hmm.. and that was an intelligent comment

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by STFUPPERCUTTER
not surprising that I.Q. goes down as wastlines go up.
the south sucks.

I believe that I may be so bold as to speak for all of my Southern Brothers & Sisters when when I say... FEEL FREE TO REMAIN UNDER WHATEVER SCAT PILE IT IS THAT YOU ARE PRESENTLY INHABITING.

We have no need for any "Nattering Nabobs of Negativism" coming down here and spoiling the good thing we have goin' on.

One more thing...Don't let your mind wander - it's far too small to be let out on its own.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 03:41 PM
Good food and good manners. thats what you find in the south.

I guess I am the exception to the rule.. I eat like a horse, but can't gain a pound (go high metabolism!!).

I find that when the manners are better... the plates get bigger, just a small observation from me.

It is true "up north" waistlines may be smaller, but the manners are nowhere to found. You say hello or open a door for someone and they look at you like you are from a different planet.

So come on down to the south, have a big plate of fixins' and enjoy the laid back lifestyle.. just please GO BACK when you are done.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 03:42 PM
Being born and raised in the south I really don't see the point they are differnt cultures in the south was this study done just one or as a hole see mountain folk do eat a relatively smart diet as do country folk now when you get close to large towns like Atl, its wall to wall fast food no wonder people get over weight if that is all there is to eat where Im at most folks grow or kill there on food my nearest Mcy D's is 20 ml so big mac's not on our menu its mainly deer,rabbit and hogs and lots of vegeeeees love them vegeeeeee and sweet tea not surp tea

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 05:23 PM

Originally posted by _Phoenix_
This theory does not make any sense, there are plenty of hot countries where most people are thinner and healthier. So the theory fails

[edit on 10-7-2009 by _Phoenix_]

This was my exact thought when I read the replies.

I have lived in the South my entire life, SC . For a long time I had fear of going out if the wind was blowing from fear of being blown away. I was raised on fried( my lord was it fried, drenched in grease). That's the way I like it though.

I have never been able to get weight to stick to my bones but I have watched as everyone else blew up like balloons. Of course I am the oddity and get laughed at for being to thin. 6ft 2 - 175 pounds. I personally don't think it's to thin but around here, it is.

"Here, eat this, eat that, you need more meat on them bones." It's not normal for people to be normal size around here. If that makes any sense at all. Usually the older ladies that won't take no for an answer when it comes to you eating their food.

If you are thin they try their best to change that.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 05:34 PM
It is culture. Look at what makes a successful restaurant down here and you get two things fried and all you can eat. My relatives cook with bacon grease, lard, and all that nasty stuff. When one goes on a diet here it is by throwing some crappy lettuce on a plate and drowning it with high fat, carb, etc. salad dressing and thinking that will help. It doesn't help and you would be just as well off eating candy bars. At least the candy bar tastes good.

I learned a long time ago if you shop smart you know how to shop for veggies on a budget and at times heck the people here will give vegetables to you during the summer because all those backyard gardens produce way too much.

All the complaint about the heat and humidity is what makes people fat. They sit on the sofa and say, "Oh it's hot out there so I'll sit indoors and watch television." If you eat healthy and don't even exercise the south will suck your weight right off because it is hot. Walk around your property till you make a track out of it.

By just eating healthy I lost 70lbs in 4 months years ago just from walking around at work. The clue is to quit eating southern home style cooking or limit it to special events.

[edit on 10/7/09 by toochaos4u]

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 05:49 PM
Americans are obsessed with consuming soda and corn syrup. If Americans would all buy RO filters (I recommend the GE Merlin) and drink clean water only NO SODA!! The amount of health gained from that alone would be staggering. But wait.. you only drink Coke Zero right? Even worse. I am from the south but in top physical condition because I pay attention to what I eat and I go to a gym 3-4 days a week. Ingest crap and you'll feel and look like it. People have GOT to take responsibility, but it's so easy to blame the heat, and your thyroid gland while you chug down a 3 litre bottle of soda.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:38 PM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
fat back????

man, you gotta use salt pork and get that sodium thing going.
I make my greens and even my friends born and raised in the south, (I'm from Brooklyn) say my greens make you wanna slap Jesus.
And we'll talk ribs and chicken when the appropriate thread comes along.

edit to add, I was up to 200 lbs working construction, from my "fighting" weight of 165.
Quit the beer, got out of the truck to actually work (supervisor), and am now down to 175.
The fried thing is fine if you get off your duff and DO something.

[edit on 7/10/2009 by LAUGHING-CAT]

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:42 PM
why are they fat?

cris co

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:43 PM

Originally posted by HunkaHunka

Wow this article is amazing.

So I have lived in the South since 2003. Since then I too have gained weight. And it does have a lot to do with many of the points made in this article.

The biggest ones have to do with the fact It's HOT AS HELL down here. To get anywhere you really need to drive, and if you don't and decide to bike or walk, the number of cars on the road forces you to battle the smog.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of us down here who recognize the patterns and make adjustments. I limit my beer intake now, and don't eat as many of the fried foods that are so uber available down here.

But it's true... move to the south, and watch the waistline grow....
(visit the link for the full news article)

The heat used to actually have the opposite effect before A/C was popular, as it forces you to eat less. I remember suffering somewhat in Europe when I had to eat hot food at a sidewalk cafe in the Balearics, when the thermometer was topping 120 Degrees Fahrenheit (We had no A/C there)! Half of my family are native Southerners, and they used to always lose weight during the summertime (They were never "fat" though).

The general issue of Obesity has to do with Poverty in the South, which lends itself towards food that is not as healthy in nature, and Southern food in general (Gravy, Fried, and so on).

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:56 PM
Well if you ask any fat person here in the south what makes them that way, the answer will surely have something to do with their momma, their cousin, their 'tabolism or those damn yankees, bless their hearts!

But it's never the sweet tea. So hush your mouth.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 07:55 PM

Originally posted by elgregro
why are they fat?

cris co

Don't be knocking the crisco now. You haven't had fried potatoes till you've had 'em fried in crisco. With some porkchops and cornbread, maybe some corn on the cob.. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

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