Unhappy Unhealthy Alabama
Ahhh Sweet Home Alabama. We weren’t really surprised to see this Southern state come in dead last by a Harvard study done for happiness and health. Their obesity epidemic is spiraling out of control and alas, they’re also the least happy state in the union.
From a piece on the in- depth study on happiest and healthiest states.
“It depends on the methodology used,” Briddell said of how rankings are calculated.
“We’re part of the obesity belt that is gripping the South and the Appalachia,” he said of the WalletHub results. “We have one of the highest obesity rates in the states. We also are probably worse than the national average when it comes to suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.”
But help for the lower rankings is on the way.
This past week, the Wellness Coalition was awarded a grant that will address access to healthy food, opportunities for physical activity, and access to health care, health insurance and chronic disease prevention and management in Lowndes, Macon and Montgomery counties. The three-year grant totals more than $2.7 million, with $909,455 coming in year one, and the same amounts in the second and third years, subject to year one performance and the availability of funds.
Interestingly the scores were higher in metropolitan areas where people were more fit and the obesity levels are lower.
Michele Olsen, a Professor of exercise science at Auburn Montgomery said
“It all goes together,” she said. “In some places, there are things we don’t even think about that play into this. You don’t have a lot of safe places for kids to take off on their bicycles and take off to a park, or to a random field somewhere to play. And that will contribute to people being unhappier than they need to be at a young age. Exercise helps with depression.”
I can’t disagree with Dr Olsen that exercise helps with depression. Though it’s already been said by countless experts that only 20% of weight is exercise… the rest is diet. Perhaps since this is the unhealthiest state in the union with one of the unhealthiest diets more emphasis should be put on the food. I’m curious what constitutes as healthy when they spend my tax dollars on educating people on “healthy eating” I would play devil’s advocate here and say that Alabama has pretty mild winters where kids can play outside nearly year round (or at least 9 months of there year) whereas Northern States (especially the North East) they can’t go out and ride their bike for months at a time in the winter. Yet their much more fit and happy. Food for thought.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin is an animal lover, rescuer, writer and long time green eco health nut. She’s survived Lyme, being aborted (legally) a severe vaccine injury, 22 hurricanes, a tornado that took their house and pets and a six hour surgery that might have saved her life. She’s worked in the natural health world and done volunteer work in the same arena for nearly 25 years. She has spent the last 5 years with her partner, Dr. Mercola. You can follow Erin Elizabeth on Facebook and subscribe to Health Nut Newsletter if you please.