Obesity report slams North Carolina

Governor Beverly Perdue samples a new Cheerwine Krispy Kreme donut Wednesday. She says it's all about moderation.

July 1, 2010 6:56:54 PM PDT
The same day many of us found out North Carolina is the tenth most obese state in the country, a new Cheerwine Krispy Kreme donut was celebrated at our state capitol.

Governor Beverly Perdue started the public portion of her day sampling the latest decadence in a photo op at her office, but the timing was unfortunate. As she was sampling, a new report said almost 30 percent of adults in the state are obese. North Carolina is now the tenth fattest in the country - up from 12th last year and 16th in 2008.

But defending the decision to usher in the new donut at the state capitol, the Governor offered up herself.

"I've kept my weight off and I eat what I want because I exercise and don't eat what I want all the time in excess," said Perdue.

And Rex Wellness Center nutritionist Ashley Honeycutt says it really is all about moderation.

"As long as you're balancing that in with an overall healthy diet, you're exercising, you're getting your fruits and vegetables in, you're watching your overall calorie intake, it's okay to do that every once in a while," she said.

But obesity often starts early and many say the images kids are bombarded with reinforce the dietary decisions they make.

"It very much concerns me that young children have no choice," said Julie Nau who works out at Rex Wellness four days a week.

A retired elementary school teacher, Nau puts the onus for childhood obesity squarely on adults.

"I just think that we have a responsibility as a nation to educate our children and start them young," she said.

Just hours after the Cheerwine donut was cheered at the capitol, free North Carolina ice cream followed a milk chug at the Legislature. Which may lead some to wonder, should our state leaders and role models be celebrating foods that, while made in-state, may not help the growing problem of obesity?

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