Georgia Ranks 8th in Obesity List - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Ranks 8th in Obesity List

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

July 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The South is known for fried food and sweet tea, and it's starting to show. In a new government survey Georgia made the top 10 list of the Most Obese States in the nation, coming in at number 8.

They're staple foods here in South Georgia. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. And they all have one thing in common. They're contributors to the fact that more than one in four Georgia adults is obese.

"In the South you know people refer to us as the bacon belt, because we eat a lot of high fat, fried, the South is known for that," Clinical Dietician Frank Heredeen says.

At a popular All-You-Can-Eat Buffet here in Albany, salad's and other healthy foods are available, but the crowds are on the other side, with the fried foods.

"With my being a diabetic, fried foods should be off limit to me, but then to make my day complete, I gotta have something for it," one customer says.

But what we eat is not the only problem, it's the amount we consume.

Naomi Sellers has worked at this restaurant for five years. I asked her how many trips people make to the buffet.

"Stops? Oh, God, plenty! Too many to count."

Frank explains the problems obesity can cause.

"Obesity is associated with all the major chronic illnesses, like diebetes, hypertension, and heart disease, can all be directly linked with obesity," he says.

He also explains how many people think they're eating right, but in actuality, they aren't.

"I have a lot of people say, Oh I have vegetables I have a lot of veggies today. I'll say, what? They'll say---french fries," he says laughing.

Frank's advice for people who love good ole' southern cookin' is to make sure to watch your portions, but in general try and avoid foods that are high in sugar, calories, and saturated fat. Advice which can benefit us all.

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