Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miami Fat Machine

Matt Lauer told me something this morning that I almost couldn't believe. But then I remembered that it was Matt and that he's always honest with me, so I just decided that it must be true. The story was about the fittest and fattest cities in the United States. The part that I couldn't believe is that Miami has been named the fattest city in the country. Stop shaking your head in disbelief. Matt said it. It must be true.

I usually go to Miami once or twice a year. I don't think I've ever seen a fat person. I take that back, I have seen fat people at the Miami airport. There are usually some fat tourists in straw hats and Tommy Bahama shirts making their annual pilgrimage to Miami to get on a seven day binge on the Royal Caribbean Buffet of the Seas, or whatever they call cruise ships these days. But those people don't live in Miami, so I don't think they count in the survey. Other than the cruise ship crowd, I don't think I've ever seen a fat person in Miami. No fat people on the beach. No fat people out at the bars and restaurants of South Beach. No fat people in Coral Gables. Where are they?

Well, they must be there, because Matt said so. I can't think of a worse city to be fat in. First, there are all of the beautiful people out on the beach and at the clubs of South Beach. That would probably get annoying. Also, the humidity would really be a drag. I sweat from the moment my flight lands in Miami to the minute I return, regardless of my weight at the time. Even the airport is sweaty. The floors are always sticky there. As soon as I get to Miami, I feel like I just got done with a run, or like I'm RJ, or like I just ate dinner at Fogo de Chao and have the meat sweats. Okay, probably enough talk about sweat. 

Probably the worst thing about being fat in Miami would be that you basically have no excuse. If you live in Green Bay or something, you can blame it on the weather and the fact that you can't leave the house for like six months. But the weather can only be an excuse in Miami for the 20 minutes every afternoon when it rains. There also seems to be plenty of exercise opportunities there (nice parks, gyms, the ocean, bike paths, etc) so you can't use that excuse. I don't think they can use my typical alcohol excuse either. Going to a bar in Miami means buying a $200+ bottle of booze (the only way you can get a table), so I don't think there are a lot of people getting fat off of potato skins and other glorious bar food. And you can't just be bulking up to have some extra warmth for the winter. There is no winter.

So I'm trying to figure out how Miami can be the fattest city. There are plenty of cities that should be fatter, including: Philadelphia (cheese steaks, winter), Chicago (deep dish, winter), any city in Wisconsin (their state food is fried cheese, winter) or most of Texas (really big steaks).  Sure the food in Miami is good, but it isn't fried cheese. 

I thought Miami's expanding waistline might be economic. Maybe the fact that their economy is in the toilet is causing people to switch to cheaper, less healthy food. But then again, cities like Las Vegas are just as bad economically, and they also have casinos and cruise ship-inspired buffets.  And declining home values should lead to less dessert at TGIFridays, right? I think I learned that in my econ classes.

My next thought was that maybe it has something to do with Miami's sports teams. The Dolphins were way better this year than they were last year, and the Marlins were decent. So my theory here is that better sports teams = more people going to watch their games. And there's no way to eat (or drink) healthy at a professional sporting event. But I really doubt that an improved football team can really explain this phenomenon.

So all I'm left with is that either 1) The survey is BS or 2) Matt Lauer is lying to me. I don't want #2 to be correct, so if you've got another theory, please let me know. 


Amanda said...

Maybe the study is counting skinny-fat people?

Matt Lauer doesn't lie. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog. You are very witty and entertaining. Are you still not drinking?
I think that all the people from the previous fattest cities are moving to Miami or they migrate there during the winter when the poll was being taken

Nate said...

Amanda - Maybe you're right. This line doesn't quite make sense to me: “Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,” said Dr. Jimmy Bell.

I didn't go to doctor school, but I thought that's exactly what it meant.

Anon - Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. Yeah, still no alcohol since 12.21. Going to try and go through February and then try to gradually reintroduce booze back into my life. Will keep you posted on how that goes!

R. J. Talyor said...

I bet Ann Curry did the research for Matt's segment. That is the only explanation.

Anonymous said...

It's the humidity. A lot of people can't handle it so they end up living a very "indoors-y" life for 11 months of the year. And what do you do when you're stuck inside? Eat! The answer to this problem: Make some attempt to reacclimate yourself to the outside weather. Remember, many people did fairly well here before air conditioning. Love your air conditioner but just don't LUUUUUVVV your air conditioner! Reacclimate and soon temperatures below 70 will feel chilly!

--Reincarnated Swamp Alien--

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