The Cutting Edge: Obesity in Central Georgia

6:50 PM, Aug 31, 2011   |    comments
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Video: The Cutting Edge: Experts Discuss Cultural Aspects of Obesity in Ga.

Map of obesity rate in Georgia counties from 2007, courtesy of Georgia Department of Community Health

Georgia is among the 12 fattest states in the country. Almost 30 percent of the population is considered obese.

According to the Centers For Disease control, in 2008, there were about 144,000 people in Central Georgia who were considered obese, 13 percent more than 2004.

Peach county resident Ray Taylor and his adopted daughter Rae Taylor, said for them, obesity isn't just a statistic, it's real life.
"I've gotta make a change. I've just really gotta make a change. "

16-year-old Rae Taylor weighs 295 pounds. Doctors told her she had to loose about a hundred pounds or risk developing diabetes by age 20. Ray Taylor, said he also had to get healthy. He had high cholesterol and was also at risk for diabetes.

"Doctor would always tell me, 'I'm not gonna put you on insulin or anything like that right now, but if you start exercising and you start trying to eat things you should eat then you wont have to worry about that.'"

Ray Taylor said obesity and diabetes runs in his family and led to his father's death.

"They had to remove his leg," said Taylor, "and he got blood clots from that, and had a stroke and then he had a heart attack and died. So I can tell you it can kill you quick."

Obesity is when one's Body Mass Index, a number that measures weight in relation to height, exceeds 30. It increases the likelihood of certain illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The Georgia Department of Community health estimates these and other obesity-related illnesses cost the state $2.4 billion each year in health care costs and lost productivity.

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