Minorities combat obesity epidemic

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Obesity rates continue to rise in the US across all demographics.

But African-Americans and Hispanics are still the most affected according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The current obesity rate of Mexican-American adults is about 41 percent, higher than the overall national average of about 36 percent of Americans who are obese.

African-Americans have the highest obesity rates at almost 50 percent.

"My mom died of diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol and I got to a point where I was almost 300 hundred pounds," said Louis DesChamps.

For African-American women, the numbers are especially dramatic.

Four out of five are obese.

"I was definitely considered overweight and obese," said Kiera DesChamps.

Witnessing the health problems their families suffered, Louis and Kiera took control of their weight.

"I've lost 75 pounds since November so I'm excited," said Louis.

The DesChamps have both lost over 130 pounds combined.

And now they are on a mission as health coaches to get their community fit.

"We are starting to try a lot of different types of ways to eat because previously when we were on diets you had to the eat the same thing over and over again we definitely didn't want to get bored," said Kiera.

With summer rolling around encouraging us to relax the rules and feast, the DesChamps say you shouldn't especially at BBQ's.

"You want to make sure you choose the lean burger or the turkey burger or the grilled chicken without all the sauces and sometimes you may have to bring something on the side," Kiera recommended.

A good idea is portion control, also eat plenty of greens and fill up before you go.

"I grab one of my healthy snacks before I even go and fill up with some water so I'm not tempted by all of the things that are out," said Kiera.

Alcoholic drinks should also be consumed in moderation.

They are an easy way to rack up on calories.

Limit yourself to one-two during the cookout.

For more information on how the DesChamps are beating their battle of the bulge and how they are helping others do the same by emailing myahacoach@gmail.com.

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