LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky has made a Top Ten list again, but it's not a list people in the Bluegrass state want to be on. The latest obesity statistics report by the Trust for America's Health ranks Kentucky number six when it comes to fattest states. Indiana isn't far behind at number 15.
At Coach Motivation, a familiar face is doing what he can to make sure Louisville kids don't become the state's next statistic.
"That angers me because I'm a Kentuckian through and through," said Coach Mo DeWalt of the obesity ranking.
DeWalt, who hit the scales and trails on NBC's Biggest Loser, is upset after hearing the state is number six on the obesity list. With kids, the Bluegrass is ranked third – 21% of kids ages 10-17 are in dangerous territory. At his gym DeWalt sees a lot of kids and parents with his old eating habits which contained sugary drinks, meat and potatoes, and a lot of late night eating.
"You get websites that say we're the laziest, most sedentary lifestyles and the fattest and something has to change that mindset," said DeWalt.
One case in point to prove that change is possible is Michael Fritz, who four years ago was at 650 pounds and had trouble just moving. But less than a year after meeting DeWalt, Fritz is down 166 pounds and said he feels "1,000 percent better."
Feeling better and heading off disease also has Jack Wheatley sailing through his workouts. Wheatley, who said he is now doing things that he haven't done in years, is down over 30 pounds in six weeks. Wheatley said he finally got it - it's not a diet; it's a new way of life.
"Try a healthy workout and eating plan for a week or two and if you don't feel better," was Wheatley's advice. "You can go back to your potato chips."
Many experts believe poverty and obesity are linked. Kentucky ranks fifth in poverty. But Coach Mo tells people who complain about paying more for lean meat and fresh vegetables versus fast food that he doesn't have to pay for expensive high blood pressure pills and other medicines any more.