JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new study shows Arkansas ranks in the top three in the United States when it comes to obesity.
According to the CDC, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia have the highest obesity rates in the country.
Amanda Heringer is a nutritionist at St. Bernards Health and Wellness and said many things factor into obesity rates, including income.
Heringer gave several tips on how to move toward a healthier you.
She said to first cut back on eating out, which will not only save you calories but also money.
Exercise is also important.
"Sometimes people over complicate exercise," Heringer said. "They think they have to do fancy workout videos, you know P90X, crazy videos that are extreme. Honestly, if you can just get out and walk 60 minutes a day, you're getting in your steps."
As for the kids, exercise is just as important. Heringer suggested also cutting back on sodas and juices.
"Studies show that children that watch more, three or more hours of TV per day, they consume 5% more sodas, pizzas, salty food," Heringer said. "They consume 6% more high fatty protein foods, and you know they have a 5% decrease in consuming fruits and vegetables."
Fresh foods like fruit and vegetables should be the focus. Heringer said one of her tips for eating salad is the fork dipping method.
Order the dressing on the side and dip the fork into the dressing, then go for the lettuce.
She said doing so can reduce the amount of fat intake.
Heringer knows eating healthy can be expensive.
If you're on a budget, Heringer said frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are just as good and are normally half the cost.
Small steps can make a big difference in long term health and weight loss.
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