SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi has a weight problem, but there is hope

According to the State of Obesity, Mississippi is tied for second as the most obese state in the union. Along with Magnolia State is West Virginia and Alabama with an adult obesity rate of 35.6 percent. Louisiana is the most obese state with an adult obesity rate of 36.2 percent. Many factors can be to blame for why Mississippi and the south, in general, struggle with weight. Everything for our love of fried food, to the simple fact that we’re a blue-collar state, in some ways, contributes to our struggles.

Rebecca Turner is a nutritionist and host of Mission Nutrition on Supertalk Mississippi and says when it comes to the states battle with obesity; our traditions of the past may be to blame.

“ So we are very stuck to our traditional ways of doing things, which is always making sure that our food is indulgent, or fried, or done in the southern ways our grandparents did it. We are very reluctant to letting go of our rituals around food,” said Turner. She also added that one of the problems might lie in the way with think.

“Mentally for a lot of Mississippians this is just the way we are. We are just meant to be the unhealthiest state and it’s hard for some to get past that mindset,” said Turner.

With all the negatives you might hear about Mississippi and its obesity problems, Turner says there is hope.

“Foods in the lunchroom are becoming healthier-and-healthier everyday, and parents are becoming more aware,” said Turner.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) released its Obesity Action Plant for 2016. In the document the MSDH list four goals they hope to achieve and a plan of action:

  1. Improve state and local capacity and support to address physical activity and healthy easing across the lifespan in Mississippi.
  2. Develop an intergenerational, culturally sensitive public awareness campaign on preventing obesity through healthy choices and physical activity.
  3. Increase workplace awareness of the obesity issue and increase the number of worksites that have environments that support wellness, including weight management, healthy food choices, physical activity and lactation support.
  4. Increase the support for the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity within Mississippi’s health care system and among health care professionals.

Who know if these things will come to fruition, but at least we’re trying to do something.

You can read the full plan by MSDH here.





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