This just in: last year, Oregon was the only state in the U.S. where the obesity rate didn’t increase. Huzzah for the Beaver State!
Though static, Oregon’s 21 percent rate is not the lowest in the nation. That honor belongs to Colorado, where a mere 16.4 percent of citizens weigh in as obese. (Those looking deeper point out that it’s not quite that simple. For instance, 59 percent of Oregonians are obese or overweight. “I don’t think we can rest on our laurels and say we don’t have a problem,” said state epidemiologist Melvin Kohn.)
In both states, careful urban planning and a looove of outdoor fun are cited as contributors to good health. While some — including the group issuing this study, the Trust for America’s Health — are calling for government intervention in the form of nutritious school lunches, smarter urban layouts, and Medicaid subsidization of fitness programs, others disagree. “I think obesity is a very personal issue,” said a policy analyst from the Cato Institute. “What you eat and how often you exercise, if that comes within the government’s purview, it’s difficult to think of what’s left that isn’t.”
In other words: stuff it.