Yes, it’s true that I moved from Mississippi to New York City. It’s true that I started a great new job in Manhattan and that I live in a cool neighborhood in Brooklyn. And it’s true that I now live in a part of the country that utilizes all four seasons and not just summer.
That’s not the entire truth. I haven’t told you why I moved. Or rather, why I had to move.
See, Mississippi has the honor of being the fattest state in the nation and is currently trying to improve its image. To that end it is trying a two-pronged approach. One: there is a expansive movement to educate and motivate people to eat right and exercise. An example of this is the Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi campaign. If you live in Mississippi, you can’t help but be inundated with TV and radio ads touting the benefits of walking. But, there is a lesser-known, second approach to improving Mississippi’s standing in the health statistics.
If you’re over a certain BMI, your name goes into a lottery drawing. Once a month they draw a certain number of names and these names have 6 months to move to a state with a lower obesity rate. The thought behind this is that Mississippi’s numbers are instantly improved and the other state’s numbers are worsened in one fell swoop.
Pretty shrewd, ain’t it?
Well, my name came up so I’m doing my part to make Mississippi healthier and pull New York down. Now you know. Which is totally half the battle.