High obesity rate can impact economy

News Center 23

POSTED: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 4:46pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 7:57am

"It's time to wake up. It's time to wake up and realize that we happen to live in a region of the country, which is the most obese in the entire nation," said Harlingen cardiologist Dr. Usman Sheriff. "So there's something wrong. We are doing something wrong."

And the fact that McAllen has been voted America's fattest city three years in a row is further evidence to that fact.

Dr. Sheriff says the solution to steering away from obesity is relatively simple:

"It's to exercise more and to eat less."

But simple doesn't always mean easy. Processed foods, starches, and carbohydrates are considered the biggest contributors to obesity, which can then lead to more serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

But not only can obesity jeopardize our health, it can impact the economy within the next fifteen years if we're not careful.

"If the trend continues, and we don't do something about this, it will backdrop our economy," said Dr. Sheriff. "Twenty percent of our entire health expenditures will be spent on obesity and the illnesses that come with obesity."

Even more than helping the economy though, Dr. Sheriff says eating healthy and exercising will have good benefits.

"Above and beyond saving our economy and making the system bankrupt, what it will do is make us live longer, make us have less incidence of diabetes and the attendant illnesses that come with diabetes," said Dr. Sheriff.

Reporting in Harlingen, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.


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