AT A GLANCE
Eating healthy is possible
Teri Bourdeau and her fellow staff members are often teaching patients at Oklahoma State University's Family Health and Nutrition Clinic about food portion sizes and the types of food they're eating.
But Bourdeau, a clinical associate professor of behavior at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, said it's more than just teaching patients, it's about helping them adapt healthier lifestyles.
“If knowledge were enough, 40 percent of our population wouldn't be overweight or obese,”she said. “It's really shifting attitudes, getting people motivated and making people feel like they can do it, and that this is not just the way that they are.”
Patients often say that either it's too expensive to eat healthy, but staff members at the clinic have helped many patients find how to live a healthier lifestyle and stay within their means.
Bourdeau said sometimes it takes recognizing the excuses you are making for why you're not living a healthier lifestyle.
“Everybody can do it,” Bourdeau said. “Genes are not destiny. These are changes people can make with any amount of money they have. You don't have to be rich to be thin.”
Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer
Oklahoma's official meal consists of:
• Barbecued pork
• Chicken-fried steak
• Sausage and gravy
• Fried okra
• Black-eyed peas
• Pecan pie
Source: Oklahoma Historical Society
Oklahoma health stats
Adults in Oklahoma report some of the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity and heart disease in the nation.
• Stroke: Stroke was the fifth-leading cause of death in Oklahoma in 2007, resulting in more than 2,100 deaths.
• Heart disease: 9,798 Oklahomans died from heart disease in 2006, about 28 percent of the deaths in the state.
• Diabetes: Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death in Oklahoma. Oklahoma ranked seventh highest in the nation for the prevalence of people living with diabetes in 2009.
• Diet and exercise: Only 1 in 7 of Oklahoma adults report eating fruits and vegetables five times or more per day, making the state the worst in the nation. The state ranks 49th-worst in the U.S. for amount of physical activity.
Sources: National Vital Statistics Report, 2009; 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; State Health Department 2011 State of the State's Health Report