Posted: Sep 19, 2012 3:20 PM by Elizabeth Hill
It's no secret Louisiana's culture revolves around food and fellowship. While this makes for some great times and fantastic festivals it could also be killing us.
"Diabetes, heart disease, joint disease, sleep apnea, asthma, even cancer has been related to obesity," says bariatric surgeon Dr. Uyen Chu.
All preventable diseases. Right now about two thirds of Americans are overweight, a third obese. As those numbers grow, so do healthcare costs. The solution is more simple than you think.
"If you just lose 10 percent, 10 percent, that's 20 pounds for some people their diabetes and blood pressure completely resolve or improve."
Losing weight doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods.
"If you're making a pizza try whole wheat pizza or if you're making a sauce use fresh tomatoes," says registered dietician Sarah Fleming.
In addition to serving as a dietician, Fleming works at Sandra's Cafe and Health Food Store where a growing number customers are stopping in for healthier lunch options.
They offer healthy plate lunches with Cajun favorites using low-fat cooking methods and low-sodium, organic or all-natural ingredients.
"It's a whole lifestyle change and when people make that change they realize how much better they feel," says registered dietician Valerie Durant.
Durant, who also works at Sandra's says the growing rate of obesity is alarming.
Dr. Chu says, "when you're doctor tells you to lose some weight it really will help you."