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Obesity rates in Yakima top Washington average

Obesity rates in Yakima top Washington average

YAKIMA, Wash.- Obesity is on the rise all over the nation, and here in Yakima it's ranked above the obesity average for Washington State based on the state's recent health code report.

Dietitians here say it's an ongoing epidemic.

"We have faced this problem in Yakima, it has been a chronic problem. There's lot's of risk factors that go into obesity, some are social economic and behavioral," said Katie Wolff, a Registered Dietitian at Virginia Mason Memorial.

Lower education rates and low income are some key factors nutritionist say is why Yakima is ranked so poor.

"Studies have shown the higher education level, leads to lower obesity prevalence, so you can see how Yakima fits some of those risks," said Wolff.

The city also has fewer work out facilities in Yakima compared to other cities in the state, and has a higher rate of fast food places. Nutritionists say a lot of it stems from bad eating habits.

"If they start developing unhealthy habits at such a young age, it just gets harder to break that cycle," said Registered Dietitian Lissette Llamas.

"We do have a lower prevalence than the rest of the state in people actually eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day which you wouldn't expect being here in the middle of all the agriculture," said Wolff.

Many programs are offered within the valley to help battle the issue, the Yakima Valley Farm Worker's Clinic (YVFWC) is hosting a program tomorrow to help teach pregnant women and their children nutritional values.

"We want to prevent obesity, so establishing good eating behaviors, and how we prepare our food or what we find to be healthy is important as early as possible," said Erika Ochoa, YVFWC Program Coordinator.

YVFWC will be hosting their health event Friday at Radio KDNA in Granger from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The radio station is located at 121 Sunnyside Ave, Granger.

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