Obesity on the rise throughout the Central Coast – KEYT

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a new health study projects that almost half of United States adults will be overweight or obese by the year 2030.

But that number is already much worse in San Luis Obispo County.

For many, our daily lives are getting busier then ever before. That’s having an impact throughout the Central Coast. Nearly 60 percent of the population in San Luis Obispo County is overweight.

“I’m a busy mom of three. I think a lot of people have a lot going on in their lives. The priorities kind of shift,” said Jen Miller with the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

Miller believes those priorities are shifting from eating healthy meals to whatever is convenient.

“We’re packing a lot more into our days until we reach for processed options that tend to have more fats and processed ingredients,” Miller said.

In
Santa Barbara County, more than 25 percent of people are obese.

As
busy as our lifestyles may be, nutritionist Shannon Massey said
eating on-the-go isn’t the answer.

“We lead busy lives, so we want something that’s convenient, that’s easy to prepare,” Massey said.

Unfortunately, most of those convenient choices
are processed foods.

“They are less nutritional and higher in fat, sugar and salt,” Massey said.

Massey said one of the
keys to healthy eating is cooking meals you like.

“We want people to enjoy their foods and cook more often, eat with your families when possible. Choose whole foods, so fruits and vegetables more often and fresh, frozen or canned are all nutritious. But eat in the home more rather than eating out or choosing convenience foods,” Massey said.

Once your nutrition is in line, the next step is
moving.

The Santa Maria Valley YMCA Health Behavior Initiative gives people of all ages the opportunity to take health into their own hands.

“Our Health Behavior Initiative really
empowers our community to kind of take health their own hands and
it’s important to start at a young age and then hopefully that’ll
go into their adulthood,” said Krista Delia with the Santa Maria
Valley YMCA.

The Y has 67 fitness classes with something for
everyone.

Whatever choices you make, Miller wants to remind
everyone, there are 24 hours in the day.

“The inclination is to think that I don’t have time to work out or I don’t have time to take care of myself and my body. So bring an extra pair of sneakers to work. Throw them under your desk,” Miller said.

The fight against weight won’t likely be going away any time soon, but each day marks a fresh start.

Agriculture / California / Education / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Maria – North County / Video

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