POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Health care professional call the percentages alarming as new reports show adult obesity rates are on the rise in 16 states. Heartland numbers are among the worst.
According to the trust for America's Health, the fourth most obsess state in the nation is Tennessee. Kentucky is not far behind at number six. Missouri sits at number eleven. The most positive numbers came out of Illinois, which came in at 23.
While the numbers are bleak, people in the Heartland tell us they don't want to become a statistic.
"I was tired of being tired," said Penny McGath of Poplar Bluff.
She says her life has changed since her decision to get moving and get serious about her health. In just four weeks since joining Poplar Bluff Area Rehabilitation Center, McGath has lost 16.25 inches. She's doing a program called "All In One".
"I'm exercising 45 minutes and the results have been amazing. I have more energy. I feel awesome," said McGath.
She says the changes were easy, just start moving and eating right. She says there's no excuse for America's obesity problem.
"I'm not buying anything special or organic or spending any more money than I did before," said McGath. "I'm just making better choices. People can get resources online. You don't need a gym, just start walking."
Cassie Marler is the director at PARC. She says they've seen membership increase. She hopes that is a sign people in rural areas are getting educated about their health.
"We get people from as far away as Ellsinore or Arkansas," said Marler.
She says people are seeing success in areas outside of their appearance.
"They are getting their blood pressure down and getting off medications," said Marler.
Trainers like Rhonda Roth say all you have to do is get moving. Walking 20 minutes a day makes a big difference, she says.
"I feel most sorry for children involved," said Roth. "Kids see their parents make bad choices and they do the same thing," said Roth.
As for McGath, she agrees with Roth. She says the most rewarding changes have been the effect on her family.
"My husband is losing weight and he's not even working out, He's just eating better," said McGath. "My kids say they want to work out with mommy."