Fat in Baltimore

November 24, 2007
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It was wonderfully crisp outside today, these past few days (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Recovery Saturday) have sort of ushered in the holiday season. I am not really into Christmas decorations, and I think the reason is because I believe that are too much work for what they are worth. Is that laziness or does this show some kind of intelligence for not being easily entertained by patterns of light?

So anyway, this season leads to tremendous amounts of eating, and I am making a concerted effort to control the amount of food going down my gullet. I broke my self-imposed calorie limit of 1,596 today because I was tricked into going to California Pizza Kitchen in the inner harbor. It’s okay though, I am within the healthy range of the much disputed BMI, even though I still feel fat. I want to reach the lower end of the BMI, so I’ve been exercising and controlling the amount of food that I eat. Don’t want Type II, cardiovascular problems, or cancer.

So even if I am not considered obese, 25.8% of the residents in Baltimore are obese, and we are tied for 13th with Nashville. Forbes discusses what each city is trying to do to curb their high levels of obesity, which again, to be fair, are based off of being above a BMI of 30. And we’ve all heard about BMI’s failure to discriminate healthy individuals from morbidly obese ones.

Issues like safety, poverty and food access have contributed to the obesity rate in Baltimore, which edged to 25.8% last year, a slight increase from 2005. Various groups, including the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and the Baltimore Neighborhood Research Consortium, are leading efforts to understand what aspects of neighborhood planning best contribute to healthy communities.

Well, at least there is a program. I am starting to respect Baltimore more for at least trying to do something (hooray). If you’re out by the Beltway, you do not really hear about the efforts Baltimore is making to turn around. It is stunning how little the public knows about nutrition and exercise, but I am not so surprised since even people with terminal degrees in their fields can not know a single thing about what they are supposed to put in their bodies. Other cities are implementing programs, and one part of L.A. is even going as far to limit the number of restaurants in a certain area to stem the tide of obesity. I do not think that this plan will work very well since L.A. is the prime example of unwalkability — people will just drive a couple of minutes further to get the specific type of life-threatening meal that they desire, the trick is to educate them enough so they feel guilty about frequenting such places.


Posted in Baltimore, Maryland
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