April 16th, 2013

It turns out Southerners are not so very fat after all…

…and what’s more, they seem to be more truthful about their weight when asked.

But the most interesting thing to me about the survey described in the article was this:

“Everybody underreports their weight but women do it more,” Howard said.

Men, on the other hand, do something else that affects the Body Mass Index, which is weight divided by height squared and is used to define obesity.

“They overreport their height, which makes them seem less obese.”

Women say they’re thinner than they really are. Men say they’re taller than they really are.

Makes perfect sense to me.

7 Responses to “It turns out Southerners are not so very fat after all…”

  1. chuck Says:

    And men’s large T-shirts should really be called medium. Based on that, I’d conjecture that women’s sizes are correspondingly a bit off on the other end, with average called small or some such.

  2. DNW Says:

    ” … they seem to be more truthful about their weight when asked.”

    Or as the link has it,

    ” … and they lie less …”

    Taken in concert with the material linked to in the study, this data, from another, seems to be particularly interesting:

    “… the prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic Black women was 20 percentage points higher than among White women (77.2 percent vs. 57.2 percent, and 49.0 percent vs. 30.7 percent, respectively). Among non-Hispanic Black women aged 40 years or older, more than 80 percent were overweight or obese, and more than 50 percent were obese.

    In 1999–2002, the prevalence of extreme obesity among
    African-American women was more than twice that among White and Mexican-American women (13.5 percent vs. 5.5 percent and 5.7 percent).”

    [paragraphing introduced] http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/1/6.full.pdf

    My impression is that “Southerners” were not broken out on a racial basis:

    “Design and Methods:
    We estimated regional and state-level prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) for non-Hispanic black and white participants aged 45 and over were made from multiple sources …”

    If then, this is so, and if as we might suspect, the population weighting percentages of African Americans is vastly different (no pun intended) between Mississippi and Alabama on the one hand and Minnesota and Nebraska on the other, then the following conclusion is indeed surprising since:

    “It found that the West North Central region, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North and South Dakota, ranked fourth in obesity by the telephone survey results. But when actually weighed in the REGARDS study, people from that region ranked first in the nation for obesity.

    One wonders if there are in fact some significant behavioral or cultural differences among “white” sub-ethnicity groups (if they can still be identified nowadays), or if on the other hand some factor like weather may have a good deal to do with it.

    I don’t think that I can personally generalize on anecdotal evidence. Though I may be emotionally tempted to give Granny Yoakum or Miss Daisy the edge in personal virtue over aunt Brunhilda and her daughter Stella, I have to admit that I have memories of just as many morbidly obese women attended by morbidly obese family gasping their way into a Shoneys in WV as I have of those struggling through the doorway of a restaurant in say, in Standish, Michigan, or Kiel, Wisconsin. [which will have to serve as personal, and perhaps not very good, proxies for Minnesota]

    Interesting.

  3. Inkraven Says:

    Women say they’re thinner than they are because all things being equal, thinner women are more attractive women.

    Men say they’re taller than they are because all things being equal, taller men are more attractive men.

    Somebody hold me up.

  4. DNW Says:

    Women say they’re thinner than they are because all things being equal, thinner women are more attractive women.

    Men say they’re taller than they are because all things being equal, taller men are more attractive men.

    Somebody hold me up.”

    Re. attractiveness: What’s their motive to anonymously lie to a person who they will never meet?

    Nonetheless, the most interesting thing in all this from my point of view, is the apparent geographic or cultural discrepancy in levels of honesty. And if truly discrepant, the reasons for it. Does it protect the ego? Do liars believe their own lies?

  5. parker Says:

    Its been my general experience that southerners are more forthright and honest. A southerners first rule is be friendly and polite. The second rule is don’t take caca from anyone. The third rule is you must stand by your word. The fourth rule is be friendly and polite to northerners but watch them closely to see if they do what they say. :-)

  6. parker Says:

    “Do liars believe their own lies?”

    Often it would seem they do, the lies become a part of their self image. However, I doubt that Obama believes in his many, many lies and deceptions. I see him as a pathological liar who lies only to manipulate others to support his agenda. And, the audacity of his lies feed his gargantuan ego and provide firm support for the huge chip on his shoulder.

  7. DNW Says:

    parker Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Its been my general experience that southerners are more forthright and honest. A southerners first rule is be friendly and polite. The second rule is don’t take caca from anyone. The third rule is you must stand by your word. The fourth rule is be friendly and polite to northerners but watch them closely to see if they do what they say. :-)”

    I remember walking down the street (in view of the Capitol building as I recall), in Columbia S.C. on my way to a lunch spot that was recommended to me. As I was about to enter, I was approached from the opposite direction by three older lawyer-looking types, possibly politicians or judges, who were about to enter the same doorway.

    It wouldn’t be unusual to get a cursory nod from others in a situation like this in the Midwest, I might for example, hold a door open for a moment extra without really looking at the person also entering, but the mannerliness of these older gentlemen went beyond that. Contrast that with the smugly belching barbarism of so many northerners, even the monied types.

    I don’t think that this has to do solely with the “awkward crush of humanity” theory, though there is obvious validity to that, especially in extreme situations.

    There seems to me to also be a fundamental division in attitudes in humanity between the type of person who believes his right of association with others is unbreakable no matter how badly or obnoxiously he behaves, and the type who view it as otherwise.

    Socrates is a good philosophical example of the first type. The type that would rather die than to either cease being a deliberate annoyance or to find more congenial company with new associates. [Those non-Socrates-fans of us who have read I. F. Stone's Trial of Socrates will have had our skepticism regarding this snub nosed fascistic pederast reinforced]

    Despite their frequent attacks on the “egoists”, this type nonetheless seem to think of others as a resource upon which they are entitled to draw at will.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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