We like maps here at the Daily Yonder and the new Food Environment Atlas is nothing but maps. The atlas tracks 90 measures relating to food and health. How many fast food restaurants does your county have per person? The atlas allows you to find out and map it — as we have above.
The darker the green, the higher the ratio between fast food joints and people in your county on the map above. On the next page, you can find the fifty rural counties with the most fast food places per person. We hope we’re not spoiling the fun by telling that San Juan County, Colorado, is a good place to buy some fries.
You can go to the site (here) and make your own maps. But to give you a taste, so to speak, we’ve made some maps here for you to gaze at on this Presidents’ Day holiday.
The atlas was released on the day First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about the “epidemic” of obesity. “We’re determined to finally take on one of the most serious threats to their future, and that’s the epidemic of childhood obesity in America today,” Michelle Obama said in announcing the launch of a “Let’s Move” campaign to increase Americans’ physical activity and to reduce their weight. Okay, let’s finish off the fast food story. Here are the fifty rural counties with the most fast food restaurants per person.
Now, here is a map (below) showing the average dollars spent per person at fast food joints. You’ll see here that the data is reported by state only.
So, how are we doing on this “Let’s Move” thing? Below is a map showing the percent of adults in each state who were physically active. This amounted to doing 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, or some combination of the two.
Now, let’s take a look at what we eat. First, this map shows the differences among regions in how much meat and poultry each person purchases in a year. The darker the blue, the more meat is bought. Interesting, isn’t it, that the East Coast urban areas chow down on meat more than folks in the farm and ranch areas on the Plains.
And how many gallons of soft drinks does the average person consume? Again, this measure is by region. It appears the Delta and Appalachia are the cola kings.
This next map shows the pounds of fruits and vegetable consumed per person. Again, the cities on the East Coast lead the way.
Finally, this map shows the adult obesity rates by county. Colorado is a skinny state. In the dark blue counties, between 35% and 43.5% of the adult population is obese.