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Watch America Get Fat On A Map

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 17, 2013 3:00PM

2013_4_17_Fat.png The best visual demonstrations of shocking statistical information are the simplest. Remember the map of the correlation between poverty and school closings? How about the viral video about income inequality? Add to the pantheon this animated map, published on the Atlantic's website, about the increase in obesity across America.

In a simple animation, we can see obesity percentages in each state from 1985 through 2010. Red is bad. Blue is good, but by 2010, there's no blue left on the map. It's shocking to watch, especially because most large-scale social and health problems build slowly enough they can't be seen like this.

These numbers are taken from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control. According to the CDC, approximately 36% of adults are now obese. Geographically (as you can see in the animation) the problem is centered in the Southern United States. In a recent Gallup Poll, the most obese metropolitan area in America is McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Texas at 38.5 percent — and this is from self-reported weight and height data. In case you are interested, Illinois has an obesity rate of approximately 27.1 percent.

Turns out that Buzzfeed created a video version of this map a while back, which is embedded below. Kinda makes you want to eat carrots, right?