It'll hurt. But it will save lives.
Yes, we know; too many Alabamians are fat. But a groundbreaking, county-by-county report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned the old conclusion — the prevalence of Southern obesity — on its ear.
Obesity drips over all parts of northeast Alabama, the CDC says. Calhoun County's rate is 33.3 percent; the national average is 26 percent. Cleburne County's rate is 29.3 percent. Clay County's rate is 31.9 percent. The numbers are rising and are shocking, particularly when you consider similar high rates of diabetes and other weight-related issues.
Health advocates can talk until they expire about the value of fit lifestyles, and state anti-poverty programs can only do so much to promote healthy habits. For many, it comes down to personal choice. The message: There is a better way.