Texas and Oklahoma rank high in obesity rates

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TEXOMA-The obesity epidemic is growing, according to a new report by Trust for America's Health, and not one state has reported a decrease in obesity rates. Victoria Maranan tells us how Texas and Oklahoma stack up.

Fifteen years ago, Texas ranked as 16th fattest state in the U.S. This year, they come in at 12th with 30% of the state's adults classified as obese. Oklahoma ranks 7th in the nation for obesity. I spoke with a resident who has been struggling with her weight as well as health professionals on what you can do to get healthy.

"Look at me. I am fat, I know. Summertime I don't eat as much and I lose more weight in the summer, but I drink plenty of water and I'm working on it trying to get it off."

Grayson county resident Lodainer Sebolt is one of thousands of Texans who make up 30% of the state's obese population, making Texas the 12th fattest state in the nation. TexomaCare physician, Dr. Duke Carlson, said that number needs to go down.

"It's just a little disappointing but it gives us some room for improvement, I guess, is one way to look at it. When you look at why we have more obesity than the rest of the country, it really boils down to two things: activity level and carbohydrate and calorie consumption," he said.

Carlson said obesity doesn't just affect your waistline, but the rest of your well-being.

"Heart disease, and diabetes and high blood pressure, that's just really expensive and it erodes away the quality of people's lives."

Trainer Tori Park said exercise is important to combat obesity and a little activity goes a long way.

"You can start by just walking, you need to start with just even 15 minutes a day. I recommend first thing in the morning because very few people have excuses first thing in the morning. So, get up 15 minutes earlier, it's cooler at that time than any other time of the day."

And Dr. Carlson said healthy habits have to be introduced early.

"We need to get kids active. We need our lunch programs to demonstrate healthy eating: more fresh fruits and vegetables, more healthy greens," he said.

Sebolt made some changes in her lifestyle, she's now 20 pounds lighter and has more energy.

"I eat less, I stay away from white foods: bread, potatoes, pastas and I take my kids swimming just about everyday."

Both Park and Dr. Carlson also said rest is key to a healthier weight, because if the body overworks, it over compensates. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the nation while Colorado has the lowest.

For the rest of the study, go to the Trust for America's Health website.

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