Weight Loss Through Geography

Turns out, I’m not overweight; Omaha is. Since I moved here, Omaha made the list of Top 25 Most Obese cities in America. Naturally, I attributed it to the fact that they find a way to shove bacon into everything here (Seriously — ice cream sundaes, beer, cupcakes, salads — it’s insane!) … but maybe it’s the Earth’s fault, not ours.

Reading up on early German rocketry recently, I came across the term “gravity maps,” which led to a phenomenon I’d never heard of before.

It turns out, the Earth’s gravity is not uniform like they teach us in school (yet another lie my teachers blithely passed off), but is affected by the make-up of the Earth’s crust. So areas of higher minerals are denser than other areas.

The Germans discovered this in WWII when they started blitzing England and found that the trajectory of their missiles was affected by the varying gravitational pulls.

Through the years of the Cold War, each nation’s Gravity Map was a highly-guarded secret. Now, of course, nothing stays off of the internet for long, so it’s a quick Google search to find the official Gravity Map of America:
http://mrdata.usgs.gov/geophysics/gravity.html

gridHere’s a close-up of Iowa & Nebraska, color-coded according to the grid shown at the left. Note that the green and blue areas in southeast Iowa are at the lowest area of the spectrum, while the bright pink band going through Omaha is the highest.

midwestThe figures on the key represent mGals, or miligals per meter of gravitational pressure.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with the math of it. We can boil it down this one simple premise:
The Earth’s Gravity pulls on you at a higher rate in the pink regions than in the blue.

No, it’s not a huge difference. In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty negligible.

However, given the choice between doing a week of crunches to lose this belly fat or moving to Iowa and immediately dropping a few pounds …

Gotta run – I’m off to open a spa in a low-gravity zone!

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