i think the whole fat american thing is perpetuated by the popularity of diet fads. i have lived primarily in the midwest and westcoast; in cities and rural townships. i would say that 80 percent of the people i have known and worked with were in good shape....i do have a condo in a ski resort town where most residents are athletic. i think seattle was the last place i lived where i saw truly fat people.
funny story.....my wife was human resources for the ski resort and hired 800+ people for each season. 100 or so of these were from russia, bulgaria, germany, korea, japan, etc. i would sometimes pick these people up at the airport and a common topic would be the "fat american" thing and stuff like "are you rich, this is the nicest vehicle i have ever been in"(we have a ford f150 extended cab...pleather). most of these kids were zero body fat and would make comments like "when i got off the plane ,i thought it was the simpsons". the girls would say that they could never get that fat.....6 months later they were the biggest lards in town!
i guess it goes with the territory.....when you come to america, be warned you have no experience with our supersized menus and you may just eat your words. the only ones who didnt get big were the koreans, all they ate was ramen and trout.
most recently i was in new zealand.....looked like the same metric as the u.s. oh yeah, i dont have a alienware shirt!