Diabesity Walk Aims to Help Youth Get Healthy

- Physicians in Wichita Falls say obesity and diabetes are an epidemic here.

In 2010 the CDC put out a study that showed 8.6% of people in the U.S. have diabetes. In Wichita County, however, that number is 11.3%.

Doctors are using a  new term to fight both diabetes and obesity at once since they often go together. "Diabesity" describes fighting both diseases. Doctors say the key to making a change is education.

“This is the 21st century, the thumb exercise with the video games, etc. and we just have to make some changes,” says Brenda Jarrett with Youth Opportunities Center.

Jarrett works with youth and has noticed a scary trend from kids having a more sedentary lifestyle than when she was growing up.

“We know now, five, 10 years ago I didn't know the importance, that our community was headed towards this particular epidemic of being obese and having diabetes,” says Jarrett.

She is now teaming up with a variety of health organizations in Wichita County including the food bank to help educate kids and parents about changing their eating and exercise habits

“I believe that if we not look at calories, and focus on eating healthy, that being the goal, I think it will be accepted by your body quicker,” says Jarrett.

Diabetes and obesity are reversible if you get the proper help but one local doctor says making the change won't be easy because.

“It's a very very complex disease and compliance a lot of patients not complying, they do not come back for follow ups,” says Tania Khan M.D.

Both Dr. Khan and Jarrett agree that setting a good example now can help youth make better choices later which could help save their lives.

You can take the first step in taking control of your health this weekend.

The Diabesity Walk is Saturday from 9 a.m. till 11 a.m. at Williams Park.

There will also be educational information passed out and representatives from the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District will provide health screenings.

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