CDC reports more obesity in rural than urban counties

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, shows that more people are obese in rural counties than they are in urban counties.

Some people in Albany aren't surprised to hear that a new CDC report claiming rural counties have higher obesity rates compared to urban areas.

Kay Powell says placing so many fast food restaurants in low income areas is to blame.

"It's very easy to go and buy a happy meal from McDonald’s especially if you have multiple kids than it is to go to the grocery store and by healthy food,” Kay said. “Healthy food is always more expensive."

According to The Department of Public Health Southwest Georgia District, the lack of food options around is a reason for the obesity problem.

"[It’s] not having access to your supermarkets or stores that sell healthy produce,” Chronic Disease Prevention Manager Ebonee Kirkwood said.

According to Kirkwood, even though Dougherty County has parks and other places to be active outdoors, that's not the case for every county in Southwest Georgia.

"When you look at some of our surrounding counties, they are smaller,” Kirkwood said. ” They don't have the playgrounds or the sidewalks."

Kirkwood said becoming more active is the key to fighting obesity, and exercise isn't limited to a gym.

"You can do little things like just taking 10 minutes out of your day to move around, or taking stretch breaks here or there,” she said.

The physical activity that you decide to do doesn't have to feel like a chore.

"There's things that we do every day, that we can do more of that is considered physical activity and will help us to burn calories and lose weight."

Kirkwood said the physical activity that you do doesn't have to be long. She recommends 30 minutes.

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