Live Southern and Die Sooner

Larry 'n NassauThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a new study that projects the life expectancy and health of Americans sixty-five and over. Turns out that people who’ve lived most of their lives in Hawaii can expect to live another twenty-one years after turning sixty-five and will be healthier than other Americans during those extra years.

It comes at no surprise that long-time residents of America’s Southern states fare the worse with Mississippians taking bottom honors.

“Southern states tend to have higher rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a range of other illnesses. They also have problems that affect health, like less education and more poverty.”

You just can’t live your life eating fatty pork barbecue, fried chicken, fried catfish, fried mac and cheese, fried sweet potato pie, fried Johnny cakes, fried air, and washing it all down with tea sweetened with fried sugar and expect to end up with arterial pathways any thicker than a gnat’s hair. I once spoke with a registered nurse in South Carolina who worked in a nursing home. She said the most common and serious health problems her residents faced were diabetes related.

One exception to the Southern rule would be Florida and that is because so many of Florida’s residents retired there after leading healthier and more informed lives in North Eastern states.

I hope I don’t sound like I’m trashing Southerners because I’m not. There is no one who loves Southern food and culture more than I do. I’ve drooled over many a Paula Dean butter bonanza and cheered every time Emeril shouted his mantra, “Pork fat rules!” But, if the people of Mississippi want to live a little longer and be a little healthier they seriously need to reconsider their way of life and make the idea of moderation in all things a greater part of it.

By the way, the rules of full disclosure demand i admit to having consumed a fried fish sandwich, including a moderate dollop of tartar sauce, just prior to writing this article.

One thought on “Live Southern and Die Sooner”

  1. Changing those life-long bad eating habits are not easy. Ask anyone who objects to the new school lunch standards.
    I did see a food booth at the Clark County Fair this weekend with “breaded, deep -fried Oreos.” Gives a whole new meaning to junk food.

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