Mississippians Fatter Than Everyone Else - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/02/03

Mississippians Fatter Than Everyone Else

For the first time in our nation's history one state has a population that is one quarter obese. Unfortunately, Mississippi holds that designation. As we reported on Tuesday, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that we take the cake when it comes to obesity.

Ann Nunn from Gulfport came to World Gym on Thursday; she's thinking about joining.

"I don't think that I eat any more than I used to, but since I've gotten older, I don't get the exercise that I used to, and I don't work it off. And I don't want to give up all that good food it's wonderful," Nunn said.

And she's not alone. 25.9% of Mississippians are overweight. We've held that distinction of fattest state for the last decade, and the trend is increasing.

"I see the young people getting less and less exercise. I mean children, too much of the television and not enough outside," Nunn said.

Elementary P.E. instructor Bryant Gilbert wants parents to know that j students only go to gym class two or three times a week, and the weight of making sure the kids get enough exercise can't fall on his shoulders alone. He says parents need to be more active in the child's afternoon routine and eating habits.

"They have fast foods on every corner. That's the easy thing, that's the fast thing to do, get your food, go home and play videos," Gilbert said.

Convenience and the low cost of food make it easy for us to consume extra calories. Health experts say if we want to feel good about ourselves, and fit into our clothes, we need to find the motivation to eat right and to exercise.

"Being a role model, I think being in shape yourself, and they'll see that. If you have an overweight coach, P.E. instructor, I think that sends the wrong message.

We can easily look in the mirror and see what kind of message we are sending.

Mississippi's economic status is said to contribute to our weight gain. Experts say, people in poorer and less educated areas tend to eat cheaper, higher calorie foods.

By Nathan Mihelich

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