Utahns are the eighth skinniest people in the country, according to new statistics from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation’s annual report measured percentages of every state’s population that are obese. Utah clocked in with a lower-than-average 23 percent fatties, likely benefiting from the same availability of outdoor recreation that made Colorado the country’s least fat at 18 percent. A related study found Utah tied with Minnesota for the country’s lowest rates of childhood obesity. But the scores don’t mean we are skinny. Ten years ago, no state had an obesity rate higher than 20 percent.
The National Security Agency, the federal government’s electronic spying group, is planning to build a massive 1 million-square-foot, $1.9 million facility at Utah’s Camp Williams, describing the project only with the nondescript, Orwellian name “data center.” Hailed by some for bringing jobs, the project also will require as much power as is currently used by all homes in Salt Lake City. It is also good to keep in mind that the NSA is the same outfit exposed in recent years for tapping into the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens.
Between sessions vetting a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will be holding a meeting of a Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the Bowl Championship Series. That’s the system that decides a college football champion and that gave the University of Utah the shaft last year. Some say the country faces more important problems—what with skyrocketing unemployment rates, two wars and a pending debate on healthcare reform. It might not really matter that the U gets its due as a national football powerhouse, but it’s hard to argue with Hatch’s point that the current BCS system looks like an old-fashioned monopolistic conspiracy built to keep the millions generated by college sports in the pockets of a few schools.