Let's face it, we know how to cook in Acadiana. There is nothing that could drag me away from gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, shrimp po'boys along with other great Louisiana food. But, I do know I've got to learn to have a little restraint, and maybe even learn how to make my favorites with lighter ingredients.

All of that good food can create an issue when it comes to our waistlines. The latest rankings that have come from WalletHub place Louisiana 8th for Most Overweight & Obese States in America. At least we are not number one. WalletHub looks at a variety of criteria to determine how each state and the District of Columbia fare in the rankings.

One of the biggest take-aways from the information is that Louisiana ranks 11th in the nation when it comes to the number of people who die from obesity-related issues. Our rate of obesity in the state of Louisiana is between 35% and 42% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, did you know that being obese is more costly to us? I'm considered obese. As obese people, we end up paying $1,429 more each year on costs to treat our associated illnesses. Things that are related to obesity can be heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Other statistics that will likely blow your mind are the increases in obesity since the year 2000. The following is from the CDC:

From 1999-2000 through 2017-2018, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 42.4%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.

The Louisiana Department of Health has multiple resources on its website to help Louisianians who are looking to drop some weight. If you click here, the website offers 65 healthy recipes that you could incorporate into your routine. These are some of the things that can be done to begin a path to reducing obesity when we are ready.

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