According to a five-month-old survey on, Mississippi is the Jabba capital of the U.S. For five years straight it’s had the highest rates of adult obesity (32.5 percent). It also has the highest rate of obese and overweight children (ages 10 to 17) at 44.4 percent.

This is what rankles me about our health-care situation. Obviously not the Obama-proposed legislation (which the country definitely needs ) but the fact that the health prospects of your average sea lion rep a tremendous financial burden for everyone. The total cost of obesity, including “indirect costs,” is estimated to be $139 billion per year, and that ain’t hay.

Obese people pay 77% more for health care than normal-weighters. And two-thirds of American audlts are now either obese or overweight, the survey says. And most of the tonnage is accumulating in the poorer states in the South.

Clearly, buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken pose a much greater threat to the lives of Americans than Middle-East terrorism. If obesity was smallpox or some other scary disease there would be sirens blaring and National Guard troops outside your windows right now.

Why hasn’t Barack Obama been more ardent about pushing a physical fitness program? Not just by giving a speech or two about it, but really getting on the train and urging schools to enforce exercise regimens like President Kennedy did in the early ’60s? I’m not exactly sure, but it probably has something to do with Obama’s not wanting to overly agitate obese swing voters.