People in the South are not so fat after all -- and they lie less

Bad research had me fooled.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- 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 ...

But the UAB researchers found that when people were actually weighed, the numbers didn't add up.

By comparing the BRFSS self-reported weight data with the REGARDS scale-weight data, researchers found that most everyone fudges, or underreports, their weight when asked on a telephone.

Turns out that Southerners fudge less, he said.

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Replies to This Discussion

Interesting.

I always tell the truth about my weight, and most other things, but I learned a long time ago to be suspicious of self-reported data.

There are many variables to consider in studies. I suppose didn't consider that honesty was a variable.

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