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People in the South are not so fat after all — and they lie less (New Study)

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Published on: April 14, 2013

The South often gets tagged with having the most obese population.

But it doesn’t appear to be true, a University of Alabama at Birmingham study suggests.

The study recently published in the journal Obesity found that there’s a significantly higher percentage of obese people in a region of central and northwest states including Minnesota, Kansas and North and South Dakota.

“What we found is the West North Central region has about 41 percent obesity compared to 31 percent obesity in the southern region that includes Alabama and Mississippi,” said George Howard, professor in the Department of Biostatics at UAB. “By the way, 31 percent is not a good thing — but it’s not at the bottom.”

How did Southerners get such a fat reputation? Apparently because they are more truthful.

The notion that the South is the fattest comes primarily from a nationwide telephone survey done by the Centers for Disease Control, in which the surveyor asks for height and weight, among other things, Howard said.

That survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), shows the South as the most obese, with Mississippi and Alabama, the number one and two fattest states respectively.

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