Evansville citizens declared most obese - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Evansville citizens declared most obese

A Gallup survey ranks the Evansville and Henderson area the number one most obese metropolitan area in the nation.

Gallup surveyed more than 180 areas last year and found 37.8 percent of residents are obese.

That's compared to 26.6 nationwide.

For doctors who specialize in weight issues, the ranking is no shock.

Deaconess Weight Loss Physician Dr. David Koehler is hoping that the ranking serves as a wake up call.

Dr. Koehler says they've had to adapt to the change with larger wheelchairs, bariatric beds and a team to lift patients.

"Unfortunately, not only are we having more and more obese people, we're having more super-obese, or extremely obese, where it really becomes such a major health issue that it's quite disabling," Dr. Koehler says.

He says that lifestyles are simply less active and high calorie foods are everywhere and that in many ways, the cards are stacked against us.

"I think the number one ranking was surprising," Kevin Bain with Welborn Baptist said. "But the fact that we have an issue with obesity was not."

In fact, Bain started an initiative to take on the problem in the fall of 2009.

Since then, they've doubled the businesses and organizations involved to around 100.

The organization was the recipient of a $2.5 million grant.

Bain says to see a real change,  it needs to be easier to make healthy choices.

Bain says sp,e businesses are adding healthy vending machine options and hospital cafeterias are serving healthier meals.

Those meals are subsidized by the grant to make them the cheap choice.

But it is going to take time to slim down the city.

"We didn't get here in one years time and we're not going to solve it in one years time," Bain explained.

Bain says that if everyone works together,  it can be solved.

To learn what steps Bain suggests you try to get to a healthier you, follow this link http://www.upgradenow.org/

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