Saturday, July 13, 2013

Number Two

Congratulations, America! We're number Two!
Okay, once you pick your collective selves up off the floor and stop snickering about "number Two," I'll tell you why we have cause for celebration.
Seriously. Stop the giggling or I won't go on.
According to the United Nations, the Untied States is no longer the world's fattest developed country. This distinction now belongs to Mexico, with a whopping thirty-two point eight percent of its adult population considered obese. We are now in second place, reporting in at one full percent less than our friends to the south. Syria comes in third with thirty-one point six percent of their adults whose body mass index (BMI) is thirty and above. That's a lot of numbers, but the one to focus on is the part where we are no longer the fattest country.
We can all feel free to dance and sing and carry on, until we get winded and have to sit down for a while, but since we're still clinging to second place by an eyelash, what made Mexico catch up to us?
Mexico's urban lifestyle and rising income levels coupled with malnourishment among the country's poor have helped it claim this unhealthy title. “The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” Abelardo Avila, a physician with Mexico's National Nutrition Institute, told the Global Post. “In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It's a very serious epidemic.”
A few other statistics, from the report: About twelve percent of the world's total population is obese. The world's most weight-advantaged nation overall is Nauru, a South Pacific island where a staggering seventy-one point one percent of its ten thousand inhabitants are obese. It should also be noted that the U.N. report does not include data for American Samoa, which has been tabbed in the past as the world's fattest country. According to a 2010 World Health Organization report, ninety five percent of that Pacific island's inhabitants are considered overweight. We don't have to count them in our tally because they're not a state. They're a territory. A really big territory.
So, for now we can all enjoy a little extra sour cream on our baked potatoes, and take a day off from the gym because of all that hard work we have been doing as a country. Or we could remember that it was just a year ago that we were number One - with supersized fries. 

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