Local School District Fighting Obesity

The number of obese people in Texas is expected to reach 15 million in the next three decades, according to one state projection.

One Amarillo doctor said there's a variety of reason's for obesity.

And the local school district is doing everything it can to change the culture.

Dr. Watson Roye has been helping obese patients for the past 20 years.

"We've seen an obesity epidemic and with that an epidemic of type two diabetes, which go hand in hand," said Dr. Roye who specializes in weight loss surgery for severely obese people. But also studies how they gained the weight.

"A lot of research has come to the forefront in the last 10 years. Showing significant obesity has multiple causes. A lot of it is heredity, and metabolic and hormonal." said Dr. Roye.

Another factor is evolution.

Dr. Roye says there's a function in our brains that tells the body to store energy.

And it's developed over thousands of years.

But now it's causing problems.

"Food is plentiful, especially high calorie foods. It's kid of working against us. It adds the pounds and puts them on and won't let you get rid of them," said Dr. Roye.

With all these issues facing us, the Amarillo School District is working to teach kids the importance of fruits and vegetables.

"Set an example at school and educating kids and parents. When they go to wherever they shop for food. They purchase snack items that are more nutritious" said Brent Hoover, the Director of Food Services for AISD.

The local schools are also encouraging after school physical activities.

Dr. Roye suggest surgery for anyone 100 pounds overweight or more.

For people under that level diet and exercise is still the best bet to getting fit.