Obesity continues to be a growing issue in South-Central Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- For many Americans eating a healthy diet can be difficult. We’re told to choose to fresh fruits and veggies, over a Big Mac and a large Coke. Around the nation diabetes and obesity continue to be growing concerns. Here in Kentucky those issues are overwhelming.

Community health leaders are in Bowling Green today talking about how to promote a healthier lifestyle throughout the Commonwealth.

Nearly 50 community health leaders packed into the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green. In a market normally filled with whole food venders, the CEO at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky spoke about how obesity and diabetes are plaguing local communities.

“We eat too much and we don’t move around enough. What we’ve got to do is change norms,” said Ben Chandler, CEO at Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Susan Warrell works as a marketing manager at the Community Farmers Market. At the forum, she discussed her personal struggle with obesity.

“I’ve struggled with it my whole life. Recently, this last year I’ve been working on my health and I buy almost everything at this market. It has been life changing,” said Warrell.

Susan said it’s the grab and go mentality that fueled her unhealthy habits in the past.

“It’s so easy to grab something and go, eat something at a restaurant, make something from a box that just takes a few minutes. That is what I struggled with the most.”

Like with most things, eating healthy is often easier said than done. For low income folks’ cost is a concern.

“The produce at a farmers market may be a little more expensive then at a grocery store,” said Warrell.

Following Wednesday’s forum, health leaders had lunch and attended a workshop on food access and health improvement at Need More Acres farm in Scottsville.