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Fighting Mississippi’s Obesity Epidemic with a Grocery Cart Makeover

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 07 Nov 2013 04:50am | comments
Elizabeth Allen and Valencia Raddel taking part in the American Heart Association's "Grocery Cart Makeover" at Kroger on I-55 in Jackson Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Mississippi continues to lead the nation in obesity which has lead to a number of conditions including heart disease and stroke.  MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on efforts by the American Heart Association to help Mississippian's make healthier eating choices.

Shoppers at the Kroger on !-55 in Jackson received information on healthier eating during yesterdays, "Grocery Cart Makeover".

The event was part of the National Eating Healthy Day to encourage shoppers like Elizabeth Allen of Jackson to make better food choices.

"I was raised up on pork and came out of the country down by Bolton, Mississippi and we just don't eat that anymore. My kids they like chicken and that kind of stuff so I'm trying to feed them better than I was fed."

Connie Grantham, a nurse with the Jackson Heart Clinic says while Allen has gotten on the right track many Mississippian's have not.

"Unfortunately, people have got to the trap of choosing highly processed food because it’s convenient. And to get back to the basics of just eating an apple a day could make such a difference. Because in the long run the cost of the patient is going to be so much higher over  the course of their lifetime by choosing not to eat healthy food over giving in to the fast cheaper choice of today."

Lack of exercise and poor food choices have given Mississippi the unflattering distinction as the fattest state in the country. Grantham says it has also lead to an  unprecedented number of health issues.

" Which is heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, all of these things are strongly driven by obesity. And a lot of the convenience foods are   very high calorie. So we're eating very large amounts of high calorie food that is promoting and causing this problem of obesity. Couple that with our very sedentary lifestyle of sitting, driving at desks at computers the perfect storm for outcome.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that if Mississippian's lowered their Body Mass Index by just 5 percent it could save the state more than 6 billion dollars in health care costs by 2030. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Allen and Valencia Raddel taking part in the American Heart Association's "Grocery Cart Makeover" at Kroger on I-55 in Jackson Wednesday, November 06, 2013


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