Friday, June 30, 2006

Howdy Slim!

by Osman Parvez


Last week we had family visiting. I admit, it was an all out recruiting trip to convince my soon-to-be Physician brother and his wife to consider Colorado their future home. In theory, an easy task given they've already served 3 years of a 4 year mandatory sentence in Buffalo, New York. Unfortunately, the jury is still out as to where they'll settle and his next rotation is scheduled for Worcester, MA. Something about being closer to family (what am I, chopped liver?).

One of the things my brother noticed was how thin most people seem in Boulder. I guess when I first moved here that struck me too, but after awhile one stops noticing these things. Still, the observation drove me to dig a little deeper.

In a 2001 study, the nation as a whole had a 20.9% Obesity rate. The heaviest state was Mississippi with 25.9% incidence of Obesity.

And Colorado?

Turns out we've got the lowest Obesity rate in the country (see chart below). Back in 1991, only 8.4% of Coloradans surveyed were Obese. Ten years later that number had expanded to 14.4%. We're not as slim as we used to be but we're still the state with the lowest incidence.

Pass the jelly doughnuts, no wonder I feel chubby.

The same survey, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also tracked the incidence of Diabetes. Here Colorado ranked #5 with 5.6% of the population reporting the disease in 2001. Meanwhile, the nation as a whole has a 7.9% incidence rate and Alabama took the cake (so to speak) with 10.5%.

Make that a sugar free doughnut, please.

On second thought, forget it. I'm off to the gym.






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2 comments:

  1. Self selection, age, race and other demographics. Don't read too much into positive or negative determinations via these studies. Worcester is also a very healthy region seeing as they have seven colleges with strong traditions of athletics. [I was on the Swim and Rugby teams while attending WPI.]

    Boulder is a -great- place. Truly among the most desireable relocation and desireable as a long term location as well. Just don't mistake those attributes for some inante and immutable advantage.

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  2. Good points Robert.

    Self selection is probably the biggest factor as so many Coloradans are transplants. Boulder has been written up as a great place to live in health and outdoor recreation media for at least a decade if not more. And while Colorado remains the least obese state, that distinction is tempered by the fact that obesity increased from 8.4% to 14.4% here over the past decade.

    I have nothing against Worcester, by the way. My comments are part of a larger, shameless campaign to recruit more family to live nearby.

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