Some states have been singled out as having the most obese residents, or the worst nutrition. Other states are praised for the high percentage of the population leading active lifestyles and eating right. States are ranked, picked apart and reviewed. Government leaders use the reports to create programs that either try to undo the poor showing or maintain high scores.
Even supermarkets get in the act. Retailers often look to consumer media reports to promote fresh foods and nutrition services like dietitians and healthy cooking classes. It’s part of their umbrella health and wellness marketing effort.
So, what to do about this? In its July issue, Health magazine did a bit of research (whether it involved actual sampling, I can’t say) and determined the “50 Fattest Foods Across the Nation.” That’s basically each state’s favorite or signature food. All of them are probably delicious. Not a single one is good for you.
Take Georgia’s Luther Burger, for instance (pictured left): “The story behind the Luther Burger is murky. But the general consensus is that this monstrosity was invented at a suburban bar in Decatur, Ga., and named after R&B legend (and diabetic) Luther Vandross. In 2008 Paula Deen of the Food Network took it one step further by topping it off with a fried egg.
Ingredients: Ground-beef patty, topped with cheese and bacon between two donuts instead of a bun.
Fat content: The two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts are worth 24 grams of fat and the patty is another 16.”
Here’s Iowa’s guilty pleasure: “In 2006, the hot beef sundae made its debut at the Iowa State Fair. An artery-clogging play on the classic hot fudge sundae, this horror was marketed as “a new twist to an old favorite.”
Ingredients: Mashed potatoes, roast beef, beef gravy, cheddar cheese, tomato.
Fat content: Following the Iowa State Fair recipe at home will dish out a “sundae” with about 28 grams of fat. Commercially prepared recipes may vary.
Mississippi, which has the dubious distinction of have the nation’s highest obesity rate for nine years running, was cited for Mud Pie, a mélange of chocolate, cream, butter, and sugar. By comparison, Colorado, which is often cited as among the most healthful of states, and has the lowest obesity rate on the country, is home to the 12-egg, seven-pound breakfast burrito at Jack-n-Grill, a local restaurant chain.
Luckily, even though a few foodservice establishments are mentioned, no supermarkets are. Still, people have to buy ingredients for their homemade health killers somewhere, and food stores are the likely culprit. Does that make us guilty by association?
(Photo credit: Marshall Astor)