Mississippi ranks number one in the country with obesity problem

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 18, 2017

According to a survey by WalletHub, Mississippi is the “fattest state in America.”

The survey indicates Mississippi’s population is the state that has the highest percentage of obesity in the United States. West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana round out the top five of the “fattest” states in the country.

“Obesity leads to many health problems that people might not be aware of,” Nurse Practitioner Jeff Butin, with Highland Community Hospital said. “Some of the health issues caused by obesity include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.”

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The survey also placed the state at the top of the highest percentage of adults who eat less than one serving of fruit per day and the highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure.

“One of the main reasons Mississippi is at the top of this list is because many people can’t afford to buy healthy food on a regular basis,” Bountin said. “Instead of buying healthy, fresh vegetables and fruit at the supermarket, people choose to buy food at fast food places, which isn’t the healthiest decision.”

Drinking large amounts of soda is also another reason many individuals encounter weight problems.

“I have had patients in the past who have told they drink a two-liter bottle of Coke every day,” Bountin said. “In one two-liter of Coke, there are 800 calories, so if you consume one two-liter per day, you are putting 293,000 calories in your body by the end of the year. If you divide that amount by 3,500, which is the amount of calories in a pound, you have gained 83.2 pounds.”

Changing eating habits can be difficult, which is why Bountin recommends changing one thing at a time.

“Making simple changes such as parking in the furthest spot when going grocery shopping, replacing soda with water and going out for a daily walk will make a huge impact on your health,” Bountin said. “Exercising daily will make the biggest impact on your health, as well as making better eating choices.”