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Sorry for your luck Huntington-Ashland-Ironton metropolitan area in Ohio, you are the fattest location in America. A new champion has been crowned for a title that zero cities want to hold. America’s fattest city is nothing more than a study to fat shame an entire community and make the rest of us (who may be just as fat) feel better. Nevertheless the study has continued 6 years strong. Having been a citizen of one of the first cities to be crowned, I can help you and the other unlucky cities mentioned.
Huntington-Ashland-Ironton had nearly 40% of it’s population deemed overweight according to Time. Coming in at second with 38,3% is McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission in Texas, and the Hagerstown-Martinsburg area in Maryland at 3rd with 36.7%. Back in 2011, my hometown of Evansville, Indiana, was singled out as the fattest city in America, and it hit me at a difficult time in my life. My freshman 15 was quickly becoming a Junior 25 and now I felt the whole world knew it. It was the first time since high school I had to up my jeans size and my self esteem took a dip because of it. At first I was angry, as reports worldwide spread the news and British television shows rushed in to film documentaries of the obese, but then I realized something.
I was an overweight man in an overweight community. I should feel just as self conscious about not being in shape as half the other people in the city. It boosts your confidence much more knowing you’re not alone than say being a big man in Boulder, Colorado, who has been the thinnest city in America 6 years straight. Don’t hide your face in shame because a survey based on shaky science tells you to, own it or it will own you.
If you don’t own it, pretty soon city reps will start making ordinances on healthy foods. Friends will crash diet and pass out walking down stairs, and your world famous street festival, which is based off of some of the best unhealthy foods imaginable, will try to offer disgusting healthy options. After all the change is said and done, you’ll reach next year's poll and guess what? You are not the fattest city in America. Mission accomplished, right? Wrong. If you look, more often than not, your numbers are basically the same. It’s just someone got fatter, and the numbers are so close, a tenth or hundredth of a point can propel several other cities above or below you. So don’t take it personal if you live in any of the above cities, and if you live somewhere else, don’t get so cocky. After all America’s obesity rate is at an all time high of 27%.