McAllen/Mission/Edinburgh ranks No. 1 for most obese metro area


POSTED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 5:43pm

UPDATED: Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 9:22am

It's only January, but so far 2014 doesn't appear to be a very healthful year for those who live in the McAllen/Mission/Edinburgh metropolitan area.

Taking the number one spot for most obese city the second year in a row has dietitians and nutritionists examining what the cause is:

"The activity level is a lot lower," said registered dietitian Matilda Ybarra. "Kids are staying in doors a lot more with their electronics and those types of games that they like playing. Um, the food. We have fast food restaurants on every corner practically. Here in the Valley you see a lot of that. The Mexican food we have is one of the best in the nation, so it's gonna contribute to obesity."

People who need extra assistance maintaining a healthy lifestyle can join numerous health and wellness programs throughout the Valley, like the one at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Harlingen.

"Wellness programs - I've seen them a lot at the school districts, so they're trying to get out to the community that way," said Ybarra. "Hospitals, your clinics, so they are giving information, it's just some people we're not reaching."

But fortunately, the Rio Grande Valley is known for having some of the best citrus you can find in the country. Dr. Ybarra says residents should take full advantage to live a healthier lifestyle:

"We live here amongst fruits and vegetables that are grown and...making better choices, eating more fruits and vegetables, activity level...making it something fun."

Reporting in the Valley, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23. 

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