General chatter - Regional differences in weight norms/attitudes?




krampus
04-04-2012, 01:01 PM
I am in upstate New York, specifically the Capital Region. I think here is a pretty accurate cross-section of America - it seems of the people I see, a little under a third are obese, most are somewhat overweight but not by too much, and with people my age, fewer are overweight but still many are.

I've never gotten the "oh god eat more" talk from anyone my age - it is becoming fashionable and mainstream to care about nutrition and eat fresh/local/whole food. Still, most people in the region aren't too concerned and the most successful businesses here are chain restaurants and BBQ joints.

Talking to friends in other areas of the country/other countries, I hear a lot about how EVERYONE in the Midwest is very overweight, and how in LA it's fashionable to be waifish vs. slim but solid. What's your take on your area and what have you noticed on your travels? The only time I've left the Northeast US in the past 5 years was when I visited relatives in a very affluent part of Michigan, where I noticed very few people were heavy.


sacha
04-04-2012, 01:10 PM
I live in Quebec, right on the border of upstate NY-> being overweight is not common and it is quite unacceptable. It's very much French culture in that sense. Same when I lived in BC. It is quite noticeable when I travel in the United States, even Seattle which would be one of the 'thinner' regions.

Rana
04-04-2012, 01:21 PM
Everyone where I live is thin! But when I travel to the midwest, I am thin by comparison. My company has an office out there and I get to go maybe once a year. It always surprises me to suddenly be on the thinner side...


tikanique
04-04-2012, 01:33 PM
I live in the Midwest (grew up in the South) and yes, the Midwest is a lot heavier. AND it seems more acceptable. I've seen people wearing clothing that lets it all hang out - LITERALLY - and its okay. At size 14 I don't like wearing sleeveless, backless or tucked in but the Midwesterners do not care. Its the norm to point that there are stores that make backless, strapless, cut outs, microminis in sizes 18 and way upward. I'm not knocking the plus sizers, I used to be one of them, but in no other area of the country I've visited / lived in have I seen being overweight / obese done quite like this.

berryblondeboys
04-04-2012, 01:45 PM
I live in the dc area. It varies a lot by socio economic status the most. The wealthy are thin. The poor are overweight an by a lot. The middle class is thin to mildly overweight. My weight made me stick out (middle class with most of our friends intellectual PhDs, not the rich business sector). I was always the heaviest. Now I'm the norm for my age.

Magalo
04-04-2012, 01:56 PM
I live in Quebec too, close to montreal, and being overweight for a girl my age is seen as being lazy, not classy (/trashy), neglectful or being poor.

Most people, even older one, are thin ! Mid-BMI range.

Overweight kid ? I see about one per year. And I JUDGE, and everybody judge. If your kid is overweight, you are a neglectful parent.

Being lightly overweight can be somewhat acceptable, but being obese ? Don't even think about it !

I went to Prince Edward Island on a summer vacation with my parents a few years ago: we were camping really far from the city. In the city, everybody was thin and fashionable. The farther you are from the city, people get fatter and fatter.

philana
04-04-2012, 02:06 PM
I remember when I went to the united states for the first time (granted, it was Texas and Louisiana) I wanted to cry after just a week. I came home completely stunned by the way people ate and moved around.

What I observed:
- SO MANY fastfood chains. In the Netherlands there's fast food too, obviously, but it's more of a treat to go eat fastfood with the family. Like a silly fun thing you don't do too often. Unless you went out all night and need to cure a hangover.
- Everything is done by car. If you'd want to ride a bike to places you'd get yourself killed. There's even drive through banks (WHAT?). And when you are at Walmart and Staples is on the other side of the road you can no way get there safely walking. Here a lot of people use public transport, or we walk. But most of all we go by bike everywhere. That is a very typical Dutch thing, I know. Our country is very flat, and very small. A lot of stuff you can do by bike if it's in your own town/city. But still, the lack of transportation other than by car was just wowing me.
- That fast-food is cheaper than buying whole foods/fresh healthy foods. How are families with children and not a lot of time, nor a lot knowledge of nutrition going to ever make the right foodchoices? Oh and let me add to that that the portion sizes everywhere I've been in the US are twice as big as here. What we consider XL here is probably a medium portion in The US.
- A lot of overweight/obese people. In the Netherlands people are tall and thin. ( am short with my 5"4.5') - Though admitting, we get more big fastfood chains here and more candy in schools and people are getting bigger and bigger. But not like in the US/Texas yet.
- Everything has corn syrup/sugar in it. The bread just made me cry after a week. I eventually found french bread, because all the other bread had a sweet taste to it. That is not how bread is suppose to be! lol.
- The most baffling thing in the world to me was going the movies and and the lady asked if I wanted butter with my popcorn. I had no clue what that meant, but appearantly it's normal to throw like 2 tablespoons of melted butter over your popcorn?

I don't mean to sound judgemental, but that visit just really freaked me out. I wasn't as health-concious as I am now but even back then I was so weirded out by a lot of things. I've been to New York City/Washington since then and it's different thankfully, you can walk places. Even some cyclists. And you can buy relatively healthy sandwiches. Though it is harder than here still, but maybe that's because as a visitor I didn't know the way to the good places. I LOVE china town though. That is like the best place on earth. I was there every day for lunch. Hihi.


As for other countries, I've been in the Middle East quite a lot and for longer periods, the food there is really healthy but a lot of women are overweight still. That's because a lot of them do stay home with the kids and the entire extended family and the most important part of their culture is eating and offering food to others to be hospitable. They also have SO MUCH sugar in their coffee and tea. Oh and they are pretty good with making sweets like baklava and such.

Here in the Netherlands it's the complete opposite, the majority of the people eat because they need fuel. Our most common dinner is boiled potato, a piece of beef or pork and some veggies. Nothing fancy. A slice of bread with a slice of gouda cheese in the middle for lunch (no toppings, no sauces no nothing) and some oats for breakfast. We spent the least time of all the Europeans in the kitchen preparing dinner. My dad's wife is Norwegian and they care way more for their food and have some pretty nice staples.

So yeh. My two cents. It is all just culture, unfortunately the biggest export (culture wise) of the US is Hollywood. And all the brands that are promoted in Hollywood find their way to Europe. Such as subway, starbucks, McD, KFC and whatnot. It's becoming more popular in Europe too. So the increased amount of overweight people will follow I am pretty sure.

philana
04-04-2012, 02:11 PM
I live in Quebec too, close to montreal, and being overweight for a girl my age is seen as being lazy, not classy (/trashy), neglectful or being poor.

Most people, even older one, are thin ! Mid-BMI range.

Overweight kid ? I see about one per year. And I JUDGE, and everybody judge. If your kid is overweight, you are a neglectful parent.

Being lightly overweight can be somewhat acceptable, but being obese ? Don't even think about it !

I went to Prince Edward Island on a summer vacation with my parents a few years ago: we were camping really far from the city. In the city, everybody was thin and fashionable. The farther you are from the city, people get fatter and fatter.

By the way, this sounds exactly like the Netherlands! The way that people look at overweight folks. If you are a female past 40 it's okay to carry a few extra pounds, and men over 40 can have their beer belly. But nothing more than that.

MindiV
04-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Lifelong Texan here. I live in a VERY rural area, and I can honestly say that probably a majority of people in my town are overweight or obese. Health is not a priority.

krampus
04-04-2012, 02:49 PM
philana - don't forget PANCAKES <3

One thing I'd like to point out is that "the gym" is hugely popular in America vs. other countries - sure, most developed countries have them, but I'd say the average French, Japanese or Saudi person probably doesn't have a Planet Fitness membership. I'm one of the only folks I know who has never belonged to a gym.

And the whole "driving everywhere" thing truly stinks, but our infrastructure and culture discourage it pretty badly, especially for women. I live in a walkable city, but due to laziness and the discomfort of being stared at/catcalled while walking as a female at any time of day, I often end up driving wherever I'm going. Sometimes I really, really miss walking everywhere and being peacefully left alone like I could in Japan.

joyc21
04-04-2012, 02:52 PM
I grew up in the midwest and thin people were certainly the exception and not the norm.....When I moved to the East Coast it was the exact opposite. I was shocked to find that the masses actually put effort into being fit and healthy.

Jelma
04-04-2012, 02:55 PM
I live in SW Ohio which some consider the mid-west. We are kinda stuck between the east and the west. I prefer Ohio Valley :)

Many people here are overweight to obese. Luckily, I feel that my city is in a transition period when it comes to health. We have the state's oldest continuously operated public market, Findlay Market, where business has boomed in the past few years. Community gardens are opening in the urban core everywhere you look. We are in the process of remodeling a large part as well as building a new one downtown. Bike lanes are popping up everywhere. Locally owned restaurants seem to be opening at a faster pace than fast food joints.

I don't feel that overweight people are treated with the same disrespect here that they may be treated with in various other parts of the country and world.

tikanique
04-04-2012, 03:04 PM
To get places by walking / public transportation, I really have to plan because a lot of the streets don't have proper sidewalks. Add to it that Detroit is the motor capital of the world so its infrastructure was designed to force people to buy cars. To be a city of this size, its a shame that we don't have a lightrail, subway etc.

At any rate, when its warm and I don't have a lot to purchase I do walk to the stores in my area (I live in the suburbs) but to be honest, its moreso because gas is so high and not as much about being healthy.

I also notice the differences in attitudes in the city vs. the burbs. There are fast food joints all over the place in Detroit, both the national chains and the mom and pop chains, the coney island chains etc. There are NO whole food stores in the city - no Kroger, no A&P, no nothing. In order to go to a good grocery store you have to go to the suburbs and if you don't have a car, then you can take a bus BUT the city has a different bus system than the suburbs so it will take you a couple hours and multiple buses to get there and back. Its a crying shame. Literally, a crying shame.

sacha
04-04-2012, 03:06 PM
I live in Quebec too, close to montreal, and being overweight for a girl my age is seen as being lazy, not classy (/trashy), neglectful or being poor.

Most people, even older one, are thin ! Mid-BMI range.

Overweight kid ? I see about one per year. And I JUDGE, and everybody judge. If your kid is overweight, you are a neglectful parent.

Being lightly overweight can be somewhat acceptable, but being obese ? Don't even think about it !

I went to Prince Edward Island on a summer vacation with my parents a few years ago: we were camping really far from the city. In the city, everybody was thin and fashionable. The farther you are from the city, people get fatter and fatter.

Now that I think of it, I have not seen 1 overweight/obese chidl since I moved here, 1 year ago.

Elladorine
04-04-2012, 03:18 PM
I grew up during the 80's in the Midwest. Up until fifth grade, we had one overweight kid in our entire class (I became the second one in sixth grade). I'm guessing it doesn't look like that anymore.

I've been here in Vegas for five years now, and if anything, I notice more obese people here than where I grew up. Maybe I wasn't doing as much people watching back in the day? But I really try not to be conscious of it.

sontaikle
04-04-2012, 04:19 PM
I live in the suburbs of NYC. Out here it seems pretty mixed when it comes to people's weights, but I don't see too many morbidly obese people. Obese and overweight, yes.

Over in NYC most people seem to be fairly slender

Lunula
04-04-2012, 04:21 PM
Born in Wisconsin, but I've lived in North Carolina for many years (I've lived in 3 others states and overseas, too). I have to disagree with people being more overweight in the Midwest than in the South. I looked this up not too long ago because I was curious - you can see one of the chart of the "fattest states" HERE (http://calorielab.com/news/wp-images/post-images/fattest-states-2011-big.jpg). In fact, the top 9 are Southern states. :(


Mississippi
Alabama
West Virginia
Tennessee
Kentucky
Louisiana
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Arkansas
Michigan


The outlook is bleak everywhere in the US. It's truly depressing.

Anyway, I live in a major Southern city and I think it's more socio-economic than straight up regional.

Sum38
04-04-2012, 04:34 PM
Midwest; nice and round :D

Sum38
04-04-2012, 04:39 PM
When I go "home"...Europe that is; most are fit and trim. I felt like a :moo: I hope my next visit I will look like the rest of my European friends :D

VermontMom
04-04-2012, 04:45 PM
I live in Quebec, right on the border of upstate NY-> being overweight is not common and it is quite unacceptable. It's very much French culture in that sense. Same when I lived in BC. It is quite noticeable when I travel in the United States, even Seattle which would be one of the 'thinner' regions.

I have to say, anytime I've visited Montreal, I've thought to myself 'do they only let the beautiful, fit, fashionable people out on the street?' :devil: because it was so very noticeable to me. My kudos to your region!!

sacha
04-04-2012, 05:10 PM
I have to say, anytime I've visited Montreal, I've thought to myself 'do they only let the beautiful, fit, fashionable people out on the street?' :devil: because it was so very noticeable to me. My kudos to your region!!

Haha!

Well, the flip side is that fat women here in particular are treated quite harshly. Plus size stores are rare, petite stores common. In the US, people tend to "diet" (ie. slim fast, lean cuisine). Here, girls stop eating if they hit a 25 BMI. Working out is certainly optional too, "skinny fat" is the norm. High rate of smoking too! Lots of pressure, much moreso than in the US.

I know a lot of girls here will say they experience a lot of pressure to be thin in the US but... it's a lot worse for Quebec girls and European girls. There is really no place here where you could feel "normal" if overweight or obese.

ValRock
04-04-2012, 05:12 PM
And the whole "driving everywhere" thing truly stinks, but our infrastructure and culture discourage it pretty badly, especially for women. I live in a walkable city, but due to laziness and the discomfort of being stared at/catcalled while walking as a female at any time of day, I often end up driving wherever I'm going. Sometimes I really, really miss walking everywhere and being peacefully left alone like I could in Japan.

Gosh, I miss that too!!! My typical day in Japan was walking the kids to their respective schools, walking to work, walking/riding the train for my errands. I only ever took the car if I needed to go to IKEA :^: or somewhere too far from a train station. *sigh* Here I drive the kids to school, drive to school, drive to the store. I feel like I'm in the car all day! I could go days without getting into my car, in Japan.

I live in a suburb of Phoenix Arizona. Most people are overweight, if not obese. I'm noticing a LOT of overweight kids. I never got flack for my kids' weights from the Japanese doctors, but the doctors here comment that they could stand to gain some weight. Both are on the low end of the BMI but are healthy and eat well. I am not concerned about them. In America, there is fast food everywhere... It's a VERY different food/activity climate.

I'm moving back to Hawaii in August. People seem to run the gammut there. A lot of very fit active healthy people and also a lot of the opposite.

pixelllate
04-04-2012, 05:31 PM
This is just based on what I have seen. I live in BK for a few yrs, lived in Harlem, work in Manhattan.
BK-I live in a trendy yuppie borough. Very granola skinny, people are in skinny jeans and loose tops. Messy hair. But go deep into the "family" boroughs (less trendy/not yet so gentrified) and people are more overweight-the lower and more east you go into BK. ***
Manhattan-
Upper West Side-tall blonde moms with rock hard abs, and their overweight non-blonde nannies. I've seen TWO rock hard ab women not being allowed into starbucks till they put a shirt over their sports bras. I've seen very old women with the bums of 20 year olds. Most seem to be focused more on fitness than wrinkles? Unless those people happen to just age naturally that way. ***
Upper East Side-Not as many moms, intimdating very tiny old women who prob wake up in Chanel dress robes. All remind me of my Talbots grandmother-shes not very milk and cookies.***
Union Square/Soho-runway models, esp at Whole Foods, young thin teenagers prob visiting NYC ***
=***But these are the people I see walking around, shopping all day-the people I worked with in various places in Manhattan and BK were usually overweight. The ones who aren't are in their 30s or younger.

Harlem-Men range from average+muscular to overweight. Women tend to be quite overweight or heavier.
Hong Kong-a lot of skinny fat-very small boned, and higher in fat in proportion to muscle (I think thats why my fam tends to not look siweny/super duper skinny despite the low weight). But that was years ago and based on my aunt's pics, yoga has been big there and shes posted a lot of pics of more sculpted women.

krampus
04-04-2012, 05:51 PM
Haha!

Well, the flip side is that fat women here in particular are treated quite harshly. Plus size stores are rare, petite stores common. In the US, people tend to "diet" (ie. slim fast, lean cuisine). Here, girls stop eating if they hit a 25 BMI. Working out is certainly optional too, "skinny fat" is the norm. High rate of smoking too! Lots of pressure, much moreso than in the US.

I know a lot of girls here will say they experience a lot of pressure to be thin in the US but... it's a lot worse for Quebec girls and European girls. There is really no place here where you could feel "normal" if overweight or obese.

Sounds a lot like Asia, except there girls stop eating if they hit a 20 BMI. :dizzy: I did notice plus size clothing stores targeting young women where I lived in Japan - a very poor industrial-rural area with more heavy young people than the wealthier cities and suburbs.

Korea is probably the worst place in the world to be overweight, they made this movie:

http://www.kmculture.com/images/200pounds%20beauty_2.jpg (200 LB Beauty)

fitness4life
04-04-2012, 05:54 PM
OMG are the differences noticable! I grew up in Chicago wealthy suburb and now I live in the upper north part of Wisconsin. The difference is huge and I think it may be a socio-economic reason.

Group exercise class at the posh Pilates studio in the 'burbs is filled with women who look like the ones in Shape magazine.

There is no Pilates studio where I live in WI. Our group exercise classes maybe have 6-10 people who are in great shape. The same 6-10 people are in every class almost. The rest of the town is in crap shape. Forget about weight, I'm talking alcoholism and smoking and general inactivity.

When the tourists come, i.e. those with money from bigger cities, the activity level sky rockets.

I guess what I'm saying is up north, we have our handful of local athletic over achievers. But in the city, there is a greater percentage of the population that holds fitness near and dear.

Arctic Mama
04-04-2012, 06:07 PM
It's changed a lot in the past two or three decades. I was from a middle class area of southern California originally and I'd say much of the population was healthy weight to overweight, with maybe ten percent being visibly obese. That has shifted more toward the obese end of the spectrum since I moved.

Alaska is quite obese in general, except for certain wealthier enclaves. My town, for example, is one of the slimmer ones. But we have the highest mean salary and education of any town in the state and leisure activities are high. The more rural, the worse the food quality and oftentimes it is visible in people's habits and appearance. Also, many of the natives are less suited to grain and sugar-heavy diets than those of us from different ancestry and are, as a whole, a fair bit heavier than the other ethnicities in the state.

It's complex, and depends on so many factors, but it does depend on the region and moreso the economics that dictate that particular region's demographics.

Interestingly, when I lived in the UK we were pretty average, being a somewhat overweight family. And for the Midwest we're on the slim side, at least compared to suburban Illinois and Michigan, but we'd be average to heavy for some parts of Ann Arbor. So variable!

LiannaKole
04-04-2012, 06:59 PM
Around where I live, most of the people are pretty thin. We have a couple teeny tiny people, and a couple obese people, but nothing too extreme on either end. They're mostly in the middle of a healthy BMI range. I stick out as a fatter person. -sigh-

One thing that bugs me no matter where I am is people discriminating against anyone for their size. Even if being overweight/obese is unhealthy, so is smoking and most recreational drugs. I don't glare at smokers or anything, and I've never smoked. And skinny people do not have to have eating disorders to look like that. (rant over)

But yeah, in the USA the car culture SUCKS. Most places I want to go don't even have sidewalks! So that limits bike transportation (Which I prefer in place of a car a lot of times). And yes, it is discouraged for women especially to walk around alone.

Also, where I live, local businesses actively keep away anyone who offers to bring in public transportation. I live in a college town and they want us stuck here. The owners have literally said that. I can't wait until I'm out.

mirax3
04-04-2012, 07:55 PM
This is a very interesting thread! I live in Maryland, grew up in Howard County which is one of the richest areas in the state. Everyone was relatively fit and around a normal weight. I moved to Baltimore and every other person is overweight or very obese. I agree that socioeconomic status has a lot to do with weight. The food that is available through programs like WIC is not always nutritious. It is cheaper to go to McDonald's than a health food store. That's the unfortunate truth.

I also spent a lot of time in the Middle East/North Africa. I noticed in Egypt that there were a good deal of overweight men and women. In Turkey, most people were relatively fit looking with the older women (probably those who tended to stay at home) were heavier.

Always interesting to compare countries and regions as far as weight goes. I think the U.S. is having a nutritional/health crisis and I am hoping that more people will open their eyes and start to live a healthier lifestyle.

philana
04-05-2012, 04:15 AM
philana - don't forget PANCAKES <3

One thing I'd like to point out is that "the gym" is hugely popular in America vs. other countries - sure, most developed countries have them, but I'd say the average French, Japanese or Saudi person probably doesn't have a Planet Fitness membership. I'm one of the only folks I know who has never belonged to a gym.

And the whole "driving everywhere" thing truly stinks, but our infrastructure and culture discourage it pretty badly, especially for women. I live in a walkable city, but due to laziness and the discomfort of being stared at/catcalled while walking as a female at any time of day, I often end up driving wherever I'm going. Sometimes I really, really miss walking everywhere and being peacefully left alone like I could in Japan.

I know what you mean! What I think is crazy is that there is no active policy by the government to make walking/cycling safer and to somehow lower the cost of healthy food. But then I know how everybody freaks out when the government might try to do something good for people. Atleast, the Republicans. Hihi. Oh well, I am glad I live in such a "communist" country. Hahaha. Everybody has acces to healthcare and wont go bankrupt. There's rules about the food at schools. Towns HAVE to have safe bicycle lanes and pedestrian sides.

So apart from the social-economic that everybody mentions, which I do agree with, because the first group that's turning into obese here in the Netherlands are the people with less to spend, puplic policy has a lot to do with it. As does the food-culture. Food culture is not something you can do much about but government could work on rules to keep their citizens healthy. And no, I'm not saying we should have food-police that will keep hardworking citizens from buying what they want. ;)

Euphy
04-05-2012, 06:00 AM
I live in the South and I'd say most people are overweight here.

sontaikle
04-05-2012, 08:09 AM
After reading everyone's posts on the car culture in the US I think I'm going to add a bit more to what I said earlier.

I live JUST OUTSIDE the NYC boros. And I mean JUST OUTSIDE, like literally if I walked five minutes I would be in one of the outer boros. These are still very much suburbs (well in some cases. Downtown Brooklyn certainly isn't!) where you need a car but I never have to drive all that far to get anywhere and usually I can park and walk to several stores. I like where I am, but I do wish I didn't have to drive my car so much. Then again it's very easy for me to hop on a train and go to Manhattan and have some fun there.

I actually wouldn't mind taking a job in Manhattan; it's one of the places I'm focusing on in my job hunt :) Right now I work in one of the outer boros and I really like driving five minutes and being able to walk around an area. Drive another five minutes and I'm somewhere else with a lot of places to go! It's awesome!

Where I live is sort of like that. You definitely need a car on Long Island, but where I am is sort of like the above where I work. You don't need to drive all that long and suddenly you're at a place where you'll probably be walking for a while.

I HATE WHERE MY FIANCE LIVES. He is over half hour away from me by car and by him you need to drive at least 20 minutes to get somewhere and there isn't much walking around to do at that place. The mall near him is small and boring (when I have one of the biggest malls in the country by me) and there just isn't much to do that doesn't involve sitting. Luckily there is an outlet mall near him but there isn't much there either. I see many many many more obese people out by him and being thin is pretty rare if you are older!

I call it "the country" but it's certainly far from it. Upstate NY can be much more spread out than that.

I already told him we're not living there and he's cool with that because he'd rather just not live near his parents LOL. I really would like to live where I am now or in one of the outer boros.

98DaysOfSummer
04-05-2012, 11:59 AM
I've lived in and just outside NYC, I've lived in nicer parts of NJ, I've lived in various parts of the South and it's like this - where there is money, there are mostly thin people. Where there is poverty, there will be obesity.

berryblondeboys
04-05-2012, 12:05 PM
This is a very interesting thread! I live in Maryland, grew up in Howard County which is one of the richest areas in the state. Everyone was relatively fit and around a normal weight. I moved to Baltimore and every other person is overweight or very obese. I agree that socioeconomic status has a lot to do with weight. The food that is available through programs like WIC is not always nutritious. It is cheaper to go to McDonald's than a health food store. That's the unfortunate truth.

I also spent a lot of time in the Middle East/North Africa. I noticed in Egypt that there were a good deal of overweight men and women. In Turkey, most people were relatively fit looking with the older women (probably those who tended to stay at home) were heavier.

Always interesting to compare countries and regions as far as weight goes. I think the U.S. is having a nutritional/health crisis and I am hoping that more people will open their eyes and start to live a healthier lifestyle.

I live in Columbia, MD (Howard County) now. Have to say, for a suburb, this is a very friendly community for getting fit and it draws the fit minded to it. Not so much to Ellicott City (there people go for the supposedly better schools), but for being able to exercise? Where we live ROCKS.

We live in the original part of town of the planned community. Walking distance to the mall, post office, grocery stores, library, hospital and all schools including the community college. AND there are paths for bikes and walking everywhere. You can walk safely and in pretty areas. THEN there is the community association which runs all the gyms and pools. Our family pays $90 a month to belong to every pool in the city (like over 30 pools), 3 gyms, outdoor tennis courts, mini golf, batting cages, etc. AND that includes free classes and child care (up to 2 hours a day) - I don't pay extra for my classes (though hiring a personal trainer and some classes have an extra fee). It has made getting fit so much easier as I have so many options. I love it here. It's the next best thing to living in the big city. (Which I would love to do too).

tessendicott
04-05-2012, 01:02 PM
I live in Georgia, so there are plenty of overweight people down here and it seems to be acceptable. I wish there was something I could do to help other people get motivated to lose weight and get healthy!

Riddy
04-05-2012, 09:59 PM
I live in a walkable city,


That's because the only people who can manage to drive in Troy are the people who grew up there! All those freakin' one way streets! I've been going to Revolution Hall on St Patrick's day to see Hair of the Dog for over 10 years, and I STILL need the GPS to get back home! :lol::lol::lol:

hle82
04-06-2012, 08:03 AM
I live in the suburbs of NYC and would say the norm is starting to be 'overweight.' Young kids are still relatively normal, but starting past 20+, I'd say most everyone I see are either on the borderline or already overweight. Definitely a noticeable population of obesity too.

krampus
04-06-2012, 11:31 AM
That's because the only people who can manage to drive in Troy are the people who grew up there! All those freakin' one way streets! I've been going to Revolution Hall on St Patrick's day to see Hair of the Dog for over 10 years, and I STILL need the GPS to get back home! :lol::lol::lol:

I didn't grow up there - I'm from Colonie/Niskayuna. I remember back in the day when Rev Hall was a cool venue with regular bands...what's up with that?!

All roads lead to 6th Ave or Hoosick --> 787!

Riddy
04-06-2012, 11:52 AM
I didn't grow up there - I'm from Colonie/Niskayuna. I remember back in the day when Rev Hall was a cool venue with regular bands...what's up with that?!

All roads lead to 6th Ave or Hoosick --> 787!

^^^Really? You're the first person that's ever told me that! Even my coworker who grew up in Troy said I'd never understand driving there because I didn't grow up there. Maybe I'd figure it out if I went there more than once a year. :lol:

Yeah, they remodeled Rev Hall a year or 2 ago, and they hardly have any concerts there anymore. :?:

Aunrio
04-06-2012, 12:14 PM
I lived in Memphis for a few years. The city proper was very walkable, in daylight hours. However, I didn't see to many people walking. The city prides it self on food and gluttony is not a deadly sin but an acquired skill. I saw a poster for the barbecue festival that said "last year Memphis was the 5 th fattest city in the country, this year let's go for number 4!"

kaplods
04-06-2012, 02:55 PM
I've only lived in the midwest, so it's hard to compare what I haven't seen. I can compare Illinois to Wisconsin.

Supposedly Illinois and Wisconsin have very similar obesity rates (research puts them only a couple percentage points apart), but it seems like Wisconsin has more obese people than Illinois. It's certainly been "easier" to be very obese in Wisconsin (and I don't mean that in a fat-promoting way).

In Wisconsin, I've had less difficulty finding respectful doctors (willing to treat the body I have today not the one I might have some time in the furture). I've had less trouble finding nice clothing EVEN in the second-hand stores. I see more fat people "out and about" and engaging in physical activity both in the gym and in public. It's not assumed that being fat prevents you from being active and you see fat bicyclists, fat hikers, fat skiers, fat hunters...

At least where I lived in Illinois, it was pretty much assumed that if you were obese (especially very obese) you were expected to pretty much stay home and hide. If you were seen doing something active like swimming or bicycling there was a good chance that you'd be ridiculed if not openly then quietly (but you'd see the staring, laughing and whispering).

I LOVE Wisconsin, because not only is it "easier" to be obese, it's also much easier to do something about it. When I saw my first very obese bicyclists I was shocked and then overjoyed (and convinced my husband that we had to go out and buy bikes). I don't have good balance on most days because of my fibromyalgia and arthritis, so I don't get to use my bicycle very often, but every spring I get it out and do what I can. I know I look ridiculous - like a giant grade-schooler relearning to ride every year, but I don't feel ashamed or afraid like I did in Illinois.

In Illinois I always felt like a fat person who was "breaking the rules" when I acted like a normal person. In Wisconsin, I feel like a person who happens to be fat. I love that people don't gape when I talk about being active - it's assumed and even taken for granted that people of all sizes are active here. Outdoor sports and activities are very popular all-year round for people of all sizes.

Fast food is just as popular, but shunning fast food also seems to be more popular here. Health food stores also seem to be more tolerant/accepting towards larger bodies. In some parts of Illinois, I always felt like I must have been the only fat person who ever shopped the health food stores (I'd feel the staff and customer's eyes on my back the whole time I shopped) and in Wisconsin I feel less the freak.

I don't know if the towns I lived in in Illinois were representative of the state, or if my experience here in Wisconsin is representative of all of Wisconsin - but I do love the area I'm living in now. It's a bit ironic that I have found it much easier to lose weight when I feel less like a freak for being overweight.

That's why I don't believe that "fat acceptance" encourages obesity. I think that treating fat people like normal people actually helps make weight loss easier. Here I don't feel that I'm "supposed to be in hiding," or that when I am in public everyone is staring as I did in some places I lived in Illinois.