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We're Fat Disgusting Slobs! Or Not

Magazines love to rank cities and the editors of the mags that put out the rankings rarely even bother to argue that they have any methodology, let alone that said methodology has any validity.

I'm happy to report, therefore, that something called Men's Fitness magazine puts Washington down as one of America's fattest and least fit cities. Washington

"fails miserably in sports participation and commute times. Its nutrition scores are embarrassing..., and only a handful of cities are less sports-oriented."

Only Nevada has a higher rate of alcohol consumption than the District, the magazine reports.

But the very same survey says that District has a lower rate of risk because of weight problems than almost any state in the land.
That last bit conforms much more closely with my own observations over the years. My kids are always amazed when we leave the National Capital Theme Park and venture into Real America, where the fatties live. The kids marvel at the wide loads in the supermarkets and parking lots of the Great Out There--a sight they don't happen to see very often here at home.

You can see the whole half-baked thing on the magazine's site.

By Marc Fisher |  January 9, 2006; 2:56 PM ET
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Comments

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Your comments appear to be as half-baked as you claim the survey to be. (1) The magazine does print its methodology--you can link to it on the site you link to. Disagree with it all you want, but don't say there isn't any. (2) Um, it is a comparison of CITIES. So, the moderating influence of states shouldn't really effect the outcome. (3) Finally, while I live in what you refer to as fattyland (in amazingly un-PC fashion--who says the Post is afraid to offend readers!), the reality is that you probably live in a nice, upper-middle class section of DC or its suburbs. Take a drive through the poorer parts of town and get back to us about what you see. As we well know, fast food and high calorie foods make people feel full cheaply--even if they are full of fat and low in nutrients.

Posted by: John Gotaskie | January 9, 2006 5:25 PM

"anomaly," please. But thanks for calling BS where BS needs to be called.

Posted by: Lindemann | January 9, 2006 6:38 PM

Many thanks, Mr. Gotaskie, for the correction on the magazine's methodology. A revised item will appear momentarily.

Posted by: Fisher | January 9, 2006 6:47 PM

How ironic that the Post provides a spot to e-mail if we see offensive comments. The most offensive comment comes from you, Marc. "Fatties?" "Wide loads?" You sound hateful and ignorant, two things I never expect to see from you.

Posted by: Amy | January 9, 2006 7:51 PM

I have to agree w/ Amy. Your characterization of overweight people is offensive. Nice to see, too, that you are passing on your prejudices to your children.

Posted by: THS | January 9, 2006 8:24 PM

I have to agree w/ Amy. Your characterization of overweight people is offensive. Nice to see, too, that you're passing your prejudices along to your children.

Posted by: THS | January 9, 2006 8:25 PM

I have to go with Marc's kids. I'm from the Midwest, and when I moved here it was the opposite. I was amazed how few obese people there were here. Then when I go home I'm shocked at how many obese people are there. One difference though is that here it tends to be the poorer people that are fat, but at home the poor people also tend to be fat, but additionally many of the middle and upper class people are just as fat if not fatter.
There is a huge difference here in the way people think. People strive to be fit here. While at home in the Midwest, people lack that desire. Granted the poll doesn't take things like that into account and Marc could have stated his thoughts a little less callously.
Just some thoughts.

Posted by: Bobby | January 10, 2006 9:06 AM

Oh yeah, I also question the alcohol consumption levels. How the heck are we the second most consumers of alcohol? I think most places I've been to in the Midwest (minus the dry counties), people drink like mad... every night have a couple of beers.
Maybe it's the wine here. Hardly anyone drinks wine at home.

Posted by: Bobby | January 10, 2006 9:13 AM

The alcohol consumption figures likely suffer from the same flaw similar surveys have had in the past - because of D.C.'s unique laws (e.g., stores can order directly from vineyards or other producers, rather than going through state-mandated distributors), you tend to find better selection and (sometimes) prices here than in the surrounding Maryland and D.C. suburbs. So many people come in from the surrounding area to buy, which inflates the city's consumption levels.

Posted by: Marduke | January 10, 2006 9:24 AM

After having read this article this morning, I picked up the Jan/Feb issue of Men's Health, a much better magazine, to find that they did a ranking of healthiest cities: DC finished 36 out of 100, with 1 being the best (SF, btw). We got an A- on fitness, and a blurb identified DC as the place with the most educated single women & favorable boy-to-girl ratio (for us boys...).

Bizarre coincidence; I love it when this stuff happens

Posted by: Georgetown | January 10, 2006 2:44 PM

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