Today is definitely not the day to worry about what you eat, but nevertheless, here are some interesting facts about the eating habits of Louisianans. According to a new and comprehensive study by Financial website WalletHub, covering overweight and obesity statistics on a state-by-state basis, Louisiana ranked worryingly though predictably high. While we fortunately did not rank in the top five of the most overweight states, we did come close, with a finish in seventh place. That said, though we missed the topmost spots on the aggregate ranking, WalletHub often uses multiple statistics and metrics to arrive at their large overall rankings. Our spots on the more specific categories are less than desirable.
Louisiana loves its heavy and sauce-laden cooking; our local cuisine is part of our charm. And, perhaps as a direct result, Louisiana's adults rank first in the country for most cholesterol, largest number of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables in a day, and third in the number of inactive adults. The study explains that efforts to combat the rise in obesity in our country are mounting, but they need even more support, both financially and practically. A staggering 81 million Americans were reported as having been inactive in 2019 (before the pandemic!), so the numbers now are downright frightening. According to the Physical Activity Council, the leading causes of obesity are a simple lack of consistent physical activity and exercise, emotional instability, insomnia, and genetics.
As the health and safety protocols wear on, many people have understandably found little to no time for recreational activity or routine fitness activities. For a good bit of time, gyms were closed and people were staying in, giving many an excuse not to exercise outside of their homes. However, although the United States is one of the worst performers across the board during the pandemic, we are still seeing restrictions relax. While this study had been underway before the quarantine, its effects undoubtedly are felt throughout the results. Hopefully, as we ease back into a more normal social setting, we can also ease our diets and exercising habits back into place.