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Will 2013 be the Year Mississippi Loses its Title as the Fattest State in America?

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 31 Dec 2012 12:27pm | comments
Rachel Saunders, a 2nd year medical student at the University of Mississippi hitting the weights at Anytime Fitness in Jackson

For the sixth year in a row Mississippi has clinched the top spot as the fattest state in the country. That's according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how  Mississippian's can begin bucking that trend this year with new emphasis on diet and exercise.

Nearly 35% of Mississippi's population is considered obese. At Anytime Fitness Center in Jackson, personal trainer Melvin Jensen says all of the extra weight  will eventually  end up costing  Mississippian's a hefty price.

"Every extra pound of bodyweight on your upper body puts four pounds of pressure on your knee. That can lead to arthritis then on top of that there's high blood pressure there's diabetes there's stroke, heart disease it’s all associated with being overweight. So as far as getting in shape and losing weight and eating right, it all stuff that goes to helping you live a long healthier life."

Jensen says starting the trend towards a healthier life can be as simple as changing your diet and getting into a regular exercise routine that  ideally includes at least one other person.

"It can be a friend it can be someone who's been working out for a while. But having that social accountability makes you more likely to keep going. Which consistency is not trying to lose 20 pounds in a month but worrying about where you'll be in a year or two years."

Rachel Saunders, a 2nd year medical student at the University of Mississippi generally spends at least an hour several days a week doing cardiovascular exercises on  the elliptical machine. She says not only does it help to shed those unwanted pounds it also helps to reduce unwanted stress. 

"Well I wanna be a doctor so I wanna make a good example for all my patients. And I feel healthier, more energy. Sometimes I have to study 12 hours or 14 hours a day for a test and if I'm working out I feel better as opposed to just not working out. "

In 2008, Mississippi spent $925 million in health-care costs directly related to obesity. If the trend continues, officials say that number could swell to  $3.9 billion by 2018. Lawayne Childrey. MPB News.

 

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Rachel Saunders, a 2nd year medical student at the University of Mississippi hitting the weights at Anytime Fitness in Jackson


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