Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fat vs. Skinny; Liberal vs. Conservative

Are you liberal ...^

... or conservative?^

There's an interesting piece this a.m. on health.msn (here) giving us a look at the fatest and leanest cities in the U.S. and the conclusion, as usual, is that if you live in the south or the southwest, you will want to order double-wide chairs for your dining room table.

Rankings took into account (using various statistical bases) the percentage of people who are overweight, the percentage with Type 2 diabetes, the percentage who haven't left the couch in a month; the money spent on junk food; the number of people who ate fast food nine or more times in a month.

Beyond that, though, there is the obvious lifestyle differences the very names of the cities bring to mind. The thin cities, for example, conjure latte, granola, fresh and local vegetables, very little meat, almost no fast food (and when there is, it's probably sushi).

The Lard Butt 10 reflects a typical cafeteria plate that would include fried chicken, mashed potatoes and extra gravy, frenchfries, maccaroni and cheese, a hefty slice of peach cobbler and sweetea (which in the South is, indeed, one word and comes in "weights," like "10W30").

Lying subtly beneath the obvious, though, is the political strain to all this. The fat cities are generally conservative and the thin and healthy cities are liberal with one or two exceptions. Even Austin, Texas, is the pink nose of of the Lone Star. My friend, Tommy Denton, who hails from the state that gave you three of the worst presidents of our history, calls it the People's Republic of Austin.

The two Virginia cities on the list are 45-Richmond and 53-Virginia Beach. Greensboro is 70th. Roanoke, as the natives say, wasn't on the map.

1. Corpus Christi, Texas F
2. Charleston, W.Va. F
3. El Paso,Texas, F
4. Dallas, Texas, F
5. Memphis, Tenn. F
6. Kansas City, Mo., F
7. San Antonio, Texas F
8. Baltimore, Md. F
9. Houston, Texas, D-
10. Birmingham, Ala. D-

1. San Francisco, Calif. A+
2. Burlington,Vt. A+
3. Washington, D.C., A
4. Seattle, Wash. A
5. Austin, Texas, A
6. Albuquerque, N.M. A-
7. Portland, Ore. A-
8. Cincinnati, Ohio, A-
9. Denver, Colo., A-
10. Aurora,Colo., B+

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