"So we're really missing out on a lot of the important healthy food and exercise that can keep the pounds off."
The survey lists Baton Rouge as the most obese city in the nation with an obesity rate of nearly 36-percent. Staiano says obesity is a complex issue because it involves the foods we eat and the activity we get, not to mention genetics. She says when healthy options are encouraged, it really makes a difference.
"So if there are ways we can change our workplaces and schools to make that choice a little bit easier, I think that'll really help people."
Staiano says Louisiana spends almost $3 billion each year on direct medical costs related to obesity. She says that there is a link between obesity and financial hardship. Staiano adds that if healthier options can be made available to these families, it could help lighten state's obesity problem.
"We also need to figure out how we can get fresh produce and lean meats into the hands of people living in these poorer neighborhoods."