How fat, as a nation, are we? We’re so fat that the fattest states on a 1991 map of obesity map would, by comparison, be the skinniest states when stacked up against a 2007–2009 map featuring similar data. West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi are at the vanguard of the heavy, running less than 20 percent obese in 1991, and reporting 30 plus percent obesity in recent years.

A Treehugger comparison spotlights a national defense problem that’s going from bad to worse: The U.S. military is worrying about its long-term ability to find enough vaguely in-shape young people to fill its ranks. True, many modern military jobs are of the joystick and word processor variety, but there’s something admirable about preserving the idea that anyone in one of the armed services should, you know, be capable of actually participating in combat. The Washington Post reports:

“[An] April study bluntly concludes that 9 million 17- to 24-year-olds—27 percent of all young adults—’are too fat to serve in the military.’ The report by the nonprofit organization Mission: Readiness calls this trend ‘a threat to national security’ and notes that ‘being overweight is now by far the leading medical reason for rejection.'”

Meanwhile, the one guy who can actually handle overeating and keep the weight off, six-time hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, was arrested on July 4 for crashing the party at the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. It’s a long story, but it’s a good one. Apparently professional eating is becoming just as grubby as every other national sport. Plus vomiting. Well, more vomiting, anyway.

Image source: Flickr member rogerimp under Creative Commons

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