Peach State Subject of Obesity Study

According to the Associated Press, a Georgia study shows that it's a fight in which the stakes are getting higher.

There's no shortage of tasty food in the Peach State, but a study by the state's Division of Public Health reports that nearly one in 10 Georgia deaths are obesity related.

Obesity-related health problems include diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. Doctors say bad habits are to blame.

Dr. William Ellis, a cardiologist at Archbold Hospital, says, "Lifestyle is very hard to modify, and it’s the lifestyle that creates the obesity in my opinion. Certain people have genetic factors that make it more likely they'll be obese, but that's not the whole story."

According to the state's report, one of the best ways to combat the obesity problem is to educate Georgia eaters on healthier eating habits at a younger age.

Susan Woodham, the nutrition director for Thomasville schools, says, "Now we monitor five things. We monitor the calories still, the percentage of fat, we now monitor sodium, or your salt intake, and we also monitor cholesterol and fiber, and by looking at this total package we can now get better nutrition for our students."

The state hopes that kids with healthy eating habits will carry those lessons into adulthood and help curb Georgia's obesity epidemic.

The state's study also shows that obesity has been climbing among Georgia adults by about three percent each year.