Obesity rates in the US are soaring along with healthcare costs: A New Study Shows US Adult Obesity Rates Exceed 20% in Every State with at least 30% of adults are obese in more than 20 states.

Rates of adult obesity increased in six US states and fell in none last year, and in more states than ever – 20 – at least 30% of adults are obese, according to an analysis released on Thursday.

The conclusions were reported by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and were based on federal government data. They suggest the problem may be worsening despite widespread publicity about the nation’s obesity epidemic, from First Lady Michelle Obama and many others, plus countless programs to address it.

From 2011 to 2012, by comparison, the rate of obesity increased in only one state.

The 2013 adult obesity rate exceeds 20% in every state, while 42 have rates above 25%. For the first time two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, rose above 35%. The year before, 13 states were above 30% and 41 had rates of at least 25%.

Adult obesity rates increased last year in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, where BMI is calculated by dividing weight (in kilograms) by height (in meters) squared. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9.

Obesity Math

Obesity math says divide weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. The average person may struggle to convert kilograms to pounds, and height in meters to height in feet and inches.

Not to fear, the American Cancer Society has a nifty BMI Calculator that will do just that.

Olive Garden Offers 7 Weeks Unlimited Pasta for $100

While pondering your BMI score, inquiring minds may wish to consider Olive Garden Offers 7 Weeks Unlimited Pasta for $100.

Olive Garden is about to try a pretty outlandish gimmick to lure folks in the door: pasta up the wazoo.

They’re not calling it that, of course. But on Monday, the casual dining chain whose business has seriously softened in recent years, will announce plans for its first-ever “Never Ending Pasta Pass” — which, for $100, gives the holder the right to consume all of the pasta, salad, bread and Coca-Cola branded soft drinks that they can stuff down for seven weeks.

But you may need to act fast. Only 1,000 of these pasta passes will be sold — beginning Monday at 3 p.m. ET — online via the Olive Garden web site. Nothing like being one of 1,000 VIP’s who can gorge on pasta for 49 days in a row. The PR stunt piggybacks with the chain’s annual “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” promo, Sept. 22 through Nov. 9., which lets folks eat all the pasta they want for $9.99.

There’s been a recent rash of all-you-can eat promotions in casual dining. Little wonder. In a struggling industry, these promos tend to generate social media buzz and boost customer visits. In July, TGI Friday’s rolled out an “Endless Appetizers” promotion that let folks chow down all the appetizers they wanted for $10. Red Lobster, the former sister company to Olive Garden, is in the midst of its “Endless Shrimp” fest, which fetches about $15.99, depending on location. And Outback currently has a $15.99 Steak and Unlimited Shrimp promo.

Last year during its “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” promotion, Olive Garden served 13 million bowls, says Spenchian. “It’s our most popular and most requested promotion,” he says. And, he notes, the 800-store chain hopes to attract more attention to the promotion by tacking-on the $100 Never Ending Pasta Pass.

Olive Garden Update

Olive Garden says 1,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes sold out within 45 minutes.

Care to Supersize That?

What percentage of fast food restaurants comes from up-sizing or super-sizing orders? Just asking .. I don’t have the answer.


I actually like Olive Garden. The unlimited salad bowl is fantastic. Moreover, you can cut out a ton of calories by getting their lite dressing rather than their regular dressing. Not only that, it actually tastes better in my opinion.

Olive Garden “Lite” has 60% fewer calories. Instead of “Supersize me?” Olive Garden should ask “Care to try our lite dressing with 60% fewer calories?”

I like it so much that I order bottles of Olive Garden Lite on Amazon.

I also like Olive Garden breadsticks, but now eat one instead of several. And I have gone to grilled foods instead of fried.

Recommendation: Try the Olive Garden grilled salmon.

Mish Results

By giving up carbs, not fat, I lost about 30 pounds in a year, most of it rapidly. And I maintained that for over a year.

I am still not where I want to be. My BMI is 24.6, just inside the normal category.

I would like to get my BMI down to about 22-23 which would be a loss of another 10-12 pounds or so, fluctuating between 150-155 pounds.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock