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Forecast For Md.’s Obesity Rate Is Frightening; Exercise & Healthy Diet Prescribed

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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Obesity is on the rise across the nation but in Maryland the problem is getting worse faster. An alarming new report shows the obesity rate here could double by the year 2030 to a staggering 59 percent.

Kai Jackson has more on the danger for Marylanders.

The obesity problem is at epidemic proportions, especially in Maryland. It’s a crisis that experts say is reversible if action is taken right now.

Health experts say the obesity rate in the United States is at a critical level. According to a new study by the Trust for America’s Health, more than half of the people in the country in most states will be obese by the year 2030.

“Well, it’s complex. We’re not as active, our diet is not as it should be, we’re eating too many calories for the amount of exercise we do and weight creeps up on us,” said Dr. Kathy Helzlsouer, Mercy Medical Center.

In Maryland, the news is just as troubling according to the study, which says 28 percent of Marylanders were considered obese last year and that number is predicted to mushroom to 60 percent by the year 2030.

“I believe that our country needs a wake-up call and that we really need to be proactive as far as preventive medicine so we can tackle this problem of obesity,” said Meadow Mill Wellness Director Jon Kaplan.

The forecast for the obesity rate is pretty frightening, but health experts say it doesn’t have to stay that way if people eat better and exercise.

“I think it’s what we’re eating, for sure, what we’re choosing to eat. But exercise is key,” said Carolyn Lynch.

Experts say a healthy lifestyle consists of eating more vegetables and fruit, a diet that’s high in fiber with a low fat and low sodium intake. Even moderate but consistent exercise of some type can produce big results.

“Any kind of movement is awesome for the body. I think that’s one reason I’ve gotten into it,” said yoga instructor Kimberly Chambers.

Mississippi is considered the fattest state in the country and the study predicts by 2030, 67 percent of the population will be obese.

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