Obesity growing at alarming rates in SA

By Idelfonsa Alvarez-Solis
Pulse Staff Reporter

Fitness Center at Palo Alto College. Photo by Idelfonsa Alvarez-Solis.

San Antonio is ranked number 19 in the top 100 fattest cities in the United States, according to a 2019 WalletHub report.

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reports that 71 percent of Bexar County residents are obese. Children and teenagers who are physically inactive are at high risk for becoming obese in their adulthood.  

“I consume junk food about twice a day. One small bag of chips in the morning because I don’t eat breakfast, and one at night after I get out of work,” said Breana Leal, a Pre-Nursing student at Palo Alto College.

Leal said, “I don’t have time in the morning to make breakfast, so I wake up for school like just enough to make it on time, and I buy chips from the vending machine.”

Leal also said she worries that because of her eating habits, she is putting herself at risk of becoming obese, and she tries to eat a healthy salad at work during breaks.

Many college students make unhealthy choices when it comes to food. One reason is junk food and fast food is cheaper than the food in the campus cafeteria. Another reason can be because there is no time to cook, especially if there is work to go to and schoolwork that needs to be done.

If a healthy diet is not being practiced, chances are the person is putting themselves at risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, high-blood pressure and many other health issues. Being obese does not always mean it’s because of lack of proper diet or exercise. It can also be because of genetics.

Raquel Loera, a Pre-Nursing major at PAC, thinks genetics and behavior play a role.

“I know it’s in my genetics to be overweight or get diabetes and other things like that, but I also know I can lower the chances by eating better and exercising,” Loera said.

Loera also said that a big part of why she is struggling to lose weight is because of her eating habits.

Diana Aguilar, an Engineering student at PAC, said, “Constantly eating unhealthy food will make you gain weight. But in moderation, I think you’d be fine. But it really varies from person to person.”

Aguilar also said, “Being obese can come from genetics, but it is mostly from people not eating well.”

Joshua Olivares, a PAC student majoring in Education, said, “It can be both, but in my case, it’s a behavioral trait because I used to be skinny.”

Olivares said he is working out a few days a week to lose weight, and he also is trying out a healthy diet as a way to improve his health.

Fitness and recipe apps can be a great way to manage diet and workout routines. From your smartphones, you may download fitness and recipe apps such as Sworkit, Nike+ Training Club, JEFIT, My Fitness Pal and Lose It! from the app store.

Fitness accessories, like the Fitbit and the Apple Watch, can also help you stay motivated and improve your health by tracking your daily activity, exercise, food and weight.

Palo Alto College also provides a free Fitness Center to students, faculty and staff with a current Alamo Colleges District ID. The facility also has passes available for those who are not enrolled in the Alamo Colleges District. The Fitness Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is located in the Aquatic Center/Gymnasium.

If you have any questions, contact Edward Moreno, program supervisor, at (210) 486-3805 for more information.


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