Jackson ranks among the most overweight and obese cities in the U.S.

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Being overweight is no laughing matter, and the city of Jackson is battling a serious obesity issue.

It is a troubling trend in the capital city that is wreaking havoc day after day on many of the people who call Jackson home.

Dr. Lionel Fraser Jr. is with Central Mississippi Health Services in Jackson. He says the WalletHub study ranking Jackson 5th among the most overweight and obese cities in the United States is disturbing.

“This study is really a follow-up to a study that was done in November by the same author. A few months later, he applies the same methodology to cities, and in November he applied it to states. In that study Mississippi was number two,” he said.

WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated metro areas.

It ranked them on 19 key indicators of weight-related problems. The data set ranges from the share of physically inactive adults to projected obesity rates by 2030 to healthy-food access.

“If you look at Jackson, we have lost a number of major food resources where more desirable types of fruits and vegetables would have been available, and there are no longer easy to come by and easy to get to,” Dr. Fraser said. “You look at activities, are there parks and recreation facilities that the whole spectrum of the population can participate in and utilize? Are they easy to get to, and is there are a habit of using these resources?”

He says there are tons of negative health outcomes of obesity.

“I just talked about diabetes and that is the first thing that pops into mind. Also, there is comorbidity, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol, and elevated body lipids. There is a myriad of areas that are affected, and obesity doesn’t help any of them,” Dr. Fraser explained.

Dr. Frasier also points out that African Americans have some of the highest rates of obesity compared to other groups in the United States.

“I’m sure it comes down at the end of the day to genetics, family history, what we inherit, and it comes down to custom, and what we have learned to enjoy and eat,” he said.

However, statistics and studies can change.

Dr. Frasier says the weight you have gained didn’t happen overnight, and there is no miracle weight loss solution for it to disappear overnight.

“You have to commit to changing your behavior. What is the first part of behavior that can be changed? Diet and what we eat and how we prepare food,” Dr. Fraser stated. “Oranges that you peel and anything that is moderation of that kind of fruit and vegetable. Also, pears, spinach, and greens are good.”

The second thing is activity and how active we are. For example, Walk. It is simple and cheap. All these things are important.

If you have questions or concerns about your weight and if you are considering taking any weight loss medication, talk with your health care provider.

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