09 September 2010
Army of Carters
my first exposure to Nell Carter was in 1979, when I saw her in Milos Forman's Hair. i then remember her becoming a household name a few years later, in Gimme A Break. while certainly not the first overweight/obese TV performer, i do recall her weight being a frequent topic, and kind of a big deal.
i'm looking at NHANES weight statistics, that i found here.
now, i don't know Ms. Carter's weight in the early 80's, but after some googling I found reference to her admitting her doctors labeling her obese. at 4'11", which at 150 lbs. would put her BMI just north of 25.
at 200 lbs, she would have a BMI > 40, technically "extreme obesity".
back to the NHANES data (page 5, table 2)...
from the 1976-80 data, to the 2007-2008 data, the increase of extreme obesity is alarming, from 1.4% to 6% of the sampled population. percentage of overweight barely increased, from 32.1% to 33.6%. But look at obesity, more than doubling from 15% to 34.3%.
Sure, my memories of Ms. Carter were that of a large woman, and photos from the era confirm that. But looking around me now, she's actually somewhat modest in comparison to people i see on a daily basis.
i see nothing coming from federal agencies anytime soon that will address this. it's still a litany of eat-less/exercise-more, eat low-fat and prefer soy products and corn oil to meat and butter.
oh, and the giant sugar-filled coffee treats are huge in Chicago. it's almost a rule: the larger the container, the larger the person drinking it.