Obesity: The problem that just keeps getting bigger in more ways than one

Obesity: The problem that just keeps getting bigger in more ways than one

According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) on average “every 1 in 5 children, and 1 in 3 adults” is classified as obese in South Carolina. Per Merriam-Webster Dictionary “obesity is defined as a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body.”

Can we sit back for a second and re-read thisit does not say out of 5 children 1 is overweight, or out of 3 adults 1 is overweight. It says they are OBESE! If these statistics don’t scare you, South Carolina, then what will?

Having some excess fat on our bodies is something that is normal and healthy, but when one goes to the level of 30-40 percent of their body being made of fat, then we have even more of an issue than just being obese. According to the statistics above, for the population of South Carolina, on average 2 out of every 8 people that read this article may be classified as obese.

What is causing our state to become so unhealthy? This week I am going to touch on healthy ideas that we can do throughout our day to help prevent obesity, or to lose weight and become healthier! Next week will be a peek into our bodies. What does being obese look like on the inside? This might just make you think before you pick up that candy bar while waiting in the checkout line.

? We can start with the basics. Make sure you are exercising a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Every individual, even those who are “too busy” should be able to find 30 minutes for their own health. Check out past articles of #KellysCharlestonChallenge for ideas of exercises, parks, paths and more!

? The second basic step is to make sure we are eating a minimum of three healthy meals per day, all including a protein, a healthy fat, a carbohydrate, and a vegetable (if you need ideas see “You are what you eat” ).

These are the two staple ideas that everyone should be doing daily. Onward is a large list of ideas to implement as well!

? Setting a weekly goal for yourself: I will exercise X amount of times in 7 days. The trick is have an actual calendar or print one out. When you exercise put a big X across that day so you know you’re one step closer to your goal.

? Following your goal of X days per week, now plan out your weekly activities. By doing this you know what your plan is each day. You don’t have to question it, and you don’t allow yourself to back out of it.


Monday: 30 minutes of a total body workout
Tuesday: Run 2 miles and body weight exercises
Wednesday: Go to the gym and lift weights for 45 minutes
Thursday: Play 30 minutes of basketball with the kids
Friday: Run 2 miles, walk 1 with the dog
Saturday: Alternating walk/run field laps while kids are at soccer (60 minutes)
Sunday: Rest day -- leisurely 2-mile walk.

? Park in the furthest spot in every parking lot.

? Climb the stairs wherever an elevator is an option.

? Ride your bike to drop the kids off at school.

? No sweets for a week.

? Limit your screen time, this will force you to get up and do something else.

? Pre meal, drink a glass of water, and always start your meal with vegetables.

? When having a snack or meal, serve yourself 1 serving – put everything away or close up the box and then eat.

? Cut out all sugar beverages, no juice, no soda – these are simple ways to not consume as much sugar which then turns into fat.

? Find an exercise group or exercise as a family; someone or multiple people that will keep you accountable.

? Educate yourself on the ingredients in the foods that you are putting into your body

The ingredients label on a product is written in order of how much of each ingredient is in the product from greatest to least.


Cheerios - Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Corn Starch, Sugar, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Vitamin E. Meaning cheerios is mostly made of whole grain oats, and then the second largest ingredient being corn starch, then sugar and so on down to the last ingredient.

? Challenge yourself to only eat foods in which you can say the name of the ingredient and know exactly what it is.


Lara Bar (Apple Pie) - Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Unsweetened Apples, Walnuts, Raisins, Cinnamon. This specific flavor of bar has dates as the primary ingredient, and cinnamon as the least. Also I can pronounce each ingredient and I know what they are (side note, try this bar it is delicious and healthy!).

Product X - Ingredients: Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dextrose, Wheat Starch, Baking Powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda), Palm and Soybean Oil, Whey, Salt, Cinnamon, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Monoglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Polysorbate 60, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Yellow 5, Red 40.

What is enriched flour bleached? To then read ferrous sulfate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, polysorbate... and what do yellow 4, and red 40 mean? What you have just read as the ingredients of Product X -- Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls. Just to reiterate, try to eat foods in which you can read the words and understand exactly what each ingredient is. It’s a fun game to really look at what is entering your body.

That’s a wrap this week for #KellysCharlestonChallenge touching on obesity; what we can do about it in our everyday lives to either help prevent becoming obese, or taking a step in the right direction.


This week’s challenge is to either choose three ideas from above, or create your own ideas of how you can make your everyday life a bit healthier! For example (1) I am going to park in the furthest parking spot from every store or building that I am entering, (2) I am only going to eat foods this week in which I know what every ingredient is (hint: fresh food or food that is grown or produced directly from the earth: apples, chicken, potatoes), (3) I am going to walk my dog 15 minutes longer every day.

With taking steps in the right direction, these might seem like huge steps for some and others might think it’s a piece of cake (or maybe we should say a slice of apple?). Challenge yourself as an individual to start changing your habits today. Everyone has the ability to make themselves a bit healthier than they currently are.

Shoot me an email or post on your social media of how you are going to start changing your life! Share it with your friends because remember in South Carolina about 1 in every 4 people are obese, so sharing your weekly challenge with just 1 other person could make a big difference in someone’s life! Tag #kellyscharlestonchallenge so I can see what you have been up to!

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