Class helps fight obesity with healthy eating

Class helps fight obesity with healthy eating

Amarillo, TX - Many low income families believe they cannot afford to eat healthy.

Frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

These are two of the simple choices the "Step Up and Scale Down" class teaches low income families.

"It incorporates goal setting, talking about a healthy plate, snacking, breakfast idea, meal planning, some option for eating out, it talks about the importance of hydration, it incorporates self-esteem," said Lizabeth Gresham who is an Extension Agent with the Prarieview Cooperative Extension Service.

"When I first took the first class she made it a point to clear out that this isn't just a diet, I'm not going to just teach you to eat for diet, I am going to teach you to eat as a lifestyle," Brenda Ramirez who is a Participant in the class said.

One of the main reasons Gresham teaches this class is because Texas has become one of the most obese states and Potter County has a high percentage of obesity in it's schools.

"I also learned how cheap it is, how inexpensive it is to buy some of these foods, I actually went shopping with her a few times and we spent less than $20 for you know feeding for 6 or 7 people," said Melissa Carnero who is a Former Participant said. "It's mainly for low income families, it really will benefit them because there's kids, you don't have that much money, you want to go buy chips or you want to buy that Coke, just buy your family some carrots and stuff and broccoli and have it there for them, you'll save a lot more money that way."

But the main focus of the class is impacting these families by changing their lifestyles.

"It's about changing your lifestyle and it's hard, but I'm slowly trying to change it so I can be healthier, feel healthier and have a lot more energy," explained Carnero.

"Twenty-five years from now, I want to still be able to run, play outside with my children, I want to be able to vacation, go climb a canyon, hike, swim, I want to be able to be active, I don't want to just sit on the couch, I want to be part of their lives, I don't just want to sit there and watch it," Ramirez said.