Check this series of graphs and how it seems as if obesity is contagious. If it was a virus, it’d look like our days are numbered!
In 1994, the first year the Center for Disease Control (CDC) had data for all states, there is not one state where the rate of obesity (a BMI higher than 30) goes beyond 20%.
What stands out is that the “heavier” states are clustered, with a good portion located in the South. It’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come:
In 1997 the first states, Mississippi, Kentucky and Illinois, break the 20% barrier.
By 1999, almost the entire South and them some have joined them, although Indiana went back to a lower rate. Note again how the states cluster whose obesity rates increased the most.
In 2001, Mississippi is the first state to go beyond the 25% marker and Indiana is back to where it was. Colorado is the last state below 14%.
The rate accelerates. Four years later three states go beyond 30%, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia. Almost the entire South now reaches 25% or more. Colorado worsens as well and goes to at least 15% obese.
2010, the last year the CDC published data for, has no state below 20%. Large portions of the South are beyond 30% and they have company from several states in the North.
What will we see in 2015? Will it all be a sea of deep red?