Mobile just made another inauspicious list -- the 5th "fattest city" in America, according to Wallet Hub. To be fair, Mobilians don't actually rank in the Top 5 for being overweight and obese. The Wallet Hub numbers say the metro area is actually ranked 19th in that category. But if we've learned anything, it's that weight isn't the sole determinant of health. Other factors include our levels of physical activity, the foods (and drinks) we're putting into our bodies, and genetic factors too. Sure, it's nice to have a great body, or to lose those five pounds before heading to the beach. But ultimately, we should be most concerned with living healthier and longer lives. And we're concerned about the cost of unhealthy living, which runs into the billions of dollars.
Mobile ranked #1 for health consequences, one of the three broad categories Wallet Hub used to put together its study. Mobile is also #1 in high blood pressure. These numbers aren't good, and they are easily the scariest thing about this new ranking.
We really don't need to let this continue. There are easy things we can do, like walk a bit more. How many of us look for the closest parking spot to the store, when it wouldn't hurt a bit to walk a bit further. Same with the fast food drive-thru. The Chick-Fil-A near my house recently expanded its drive-through lane, so now even more of us are letting the car idle as we wait to order. And it's actually quicker to walk into the store and order at the counter. Speaking of fast food, have the calorie counts on menus made much of a difference on what you're ordering? I've been discovering menu items that I thought were worse than they really are, while also finding menu items to avoid.
Nobody likes to go on a diet, but we may not really need to. I wrote a blog post not long ago about a trend called intuitive eating. The idea is that you eat what you want, without restricting yourself. You do strive for a balanced diet, however, and you build a better relationship with food without all the stress of a diet. That's something we can live with, even if we don't experience profound weight loss. At my age, at least, it's better to be healthy than it is to be skinny.
Is "Intuitive Eating" the Future of Dieting?
Check out the Wallet Hub study HERE, including all of the metro areas that were measured. (Pensacola did not get measured, as Wallet Hub used just the 100 largest metropolitan areas).