Health Experts Discuss Obesity Problems - 8 News NOW

Health Experts Discuss Obesity Problems

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LAS VEGAS -- Health experts who met at the Bellagio Hotel to talk about the problems of obesity across the nation believe the economy is a factor in the issue.

Reports show obesity has become an epidemic in Nevada with 25 percent of all adults being obese. The problem is worse in the youth population.

According to reports, families are turning to fast food restaurants and unhealthy meals because they're cheaper and they can get more food for the money.

Mike Theokas weighed 654 pounds and could barely walk 10 feet without losing his breath. Theokas' doctor said his chances of survival were grim. The doctor stepped in to help him lose 358 pounds. Theokas is now half the size he used to be.

"I didn't know what feeling good felt like anymore," Theokas said. "Feeling bad was what I thought was normal because that's how I felt everyday for many years."

Eliza Kingsford is the director of the Well Spring Obesity and Weight Management Clinic. She recommends families stay away from super-sized meals.

"The impact of that is to teach the consumer that they're getting a value," Kingsford said. "What they're really doing is eating two, three, and four serving sizes of french fries and it's causing us to gain weight."

Kingsford said it's important for parents to monitor every meal their kids eat and set an example.

"We can't have parents sitting on the couch eating unhealthy foods and telling their kids to make better choices. This needs to be a family affair and absolutely needs to start early and right away," Kingsford added.

Kingsford said the key to losing weight is behavior modification and being reminded not to eat late at night.

In Nevada, experts say 25 percent of all adults are obese and 34 percent of the state's youth are considered obese.

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