As noted in this space a few days ago, the red states have higher rates of divorce, teen birth, and subscriptions to online porn than the blue states. But what about that all-important Moral Value of our time…weight? How do the states stack up on that one?
Well, according to the latest Obesity Report Card from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the partisan divide is pretty clear. Separating the states (plus D.C.) into red and blue according to their vote in last year’s presidential election, nine of the fattest 11 states (there was a tie for 10th) voted for McCain, while eight of the 10 leanest went for Obama. Dividing the states down the middle, of the 26 states with the highest obesity rates, 18 voted for McCain; while of the 25 with the lowest, 20 voted for Obama. Overall, 18 of the 23 states won by McCain were in the more obese group, while 20 or the 28 states won by Obama were in the less obese.
Put in regional terms (according to our Religion by Region definitions), the Southern Crossroads (TX, OK, MO, AR, LA) and the South win the obesity sweepstakes, with average state rankings of 10.2 and 11.5 respectively. New England is least obese with a ranking of 44.5, with the Pacific (CA, NV, HI) next in line at 40. Naturally, the Southern Crossroads and South are the country’s reddest regions, while New England and the Pacific are the bluest. By the way, the former are the country’s most evangelical regions, the latter the most Catholic.
Make of this what you will.