Friday, June 26, 2015

Taking Up The Slack

In case you missed it, North Carolina where I have lived for going on three decades just missed ranking in the top 10 states for couch potatoes.

We came in #6 for average minutes watching TV, just below the middle of the pack for least amount of exercise, #11 for watching daytime soap operas and, drum roll, #14 for love of Lazy-E-Boys.

As a whole, Tar Heels are #15 when it comes to thinking about frozen pizza and #19 in our love of fast food, but in the middle of the pack again in our love of video games.

That is just a sampling of the metrics used to develop the Couch Potato index.

Regionally, according to Roberto Ferman, a reporter for Wonkblog, the South dominates the nation when it comes to Couch Potatoes.

It’s probably the humidity but that doesn’t explain why we don’t make up for it during mild winters.

North Carolina comes in #15 overall in the analysis compiled from various sources by bloggers for Estately, an online real estate research site.

Most fascinating to me was the variation across the country in the number of fast food restaurants per capita and the linkages to measures for Lazy-E-Boys, obesity and lack of exercise.

For many years I ate, on average, more than a hamburger per day, especially after moving to North Carolina, so it was no wonder then when my doctor told me I needed to lose 20-30 pounds as part of a regimen to lower my triglycerides.

I’ve eaten three hamburgers in the past year, two when traveling.  In the mean time, the number ordered per American has reached 28 compared to the nearly 550 a year I used to contribute alone.

The Burgers “ordered-in-restaurants” market is double the size of the market for pizzas, which is why it was smart of the index to include frozen pizzas.

A few years before I retired in 2009, Durham, where I live, jumped into the “better-burger movement,” led by a great restaurant that existed here at the time called Starlu.

It, in turn, helped spawn an early food truck called Only Burger, now also a sit-down or order-to-go restaurant with two locations.

At the time, better burgers were less than 2% of the overall restaurant burger market.  Now, they are double that share even though the overall market for burgers in restaurants has grown by another $13.4 billion.

Obviously someone is take up my slack.

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