San Antonio, Texas — Obesity Prevention

San Antonio, Texas — Obesity Prevention

November 17, 2019 1 By Ewald Bahringer


[music playing] [Maggie Thompson] San Antonio
has looked at the health statistics of the city, and we have an enormous diabetes and obseity rate. About 65 percent of our
population is considered either overweight or obese. [Louis Lopez] The growing
obesity rate is not just in the underserved areas, it’s
throughout all of San Antonio. [Kathy Shields] Our diabetes
and obesity rates are very high. With diabetes, we have rates
that are twice the national average. [Julian Castro] There’s no issue
that’s more important than the communities health. Folks who are obese, they’re
more likely to have diabetes, hypertension, stroke,
or other afflictions. We have folks in our schools
who are not learning to their capacity, because they’re
undernourished, or not nourished properly. [Kathy Shields] This community
needs easy access to healthy choices. We work on changing the
environment so that people do have physical access to
healthier opportunities. [Julian Castro] Whatever we can
do as a community to establish good eating habits and good
fitness habits when folks are very young, and avoid diabetes,
avoid obsiety, all the better. [Louis Lopez] There’s always
a concern with the underserved areas throughout our community. We wanted this to be something
that was open to all of our communities. [Julia Dana] The exciting
thing is we can really make a difference is the community. We just recently implemented
a bike share program in San Antonio. It’s called San Antonio B-cycle. It’s designed for you to go
pick up a bike, check it out. Take it to wherever your
destination is, and then dock it at the destination. It’s both healthy for people,
and it’s healthy for our environment too. [Julian Castro] We’ve partnered
with the restaurant association, and many different restaurants
in town on what’s called the por vida [phonetic sp], or for life
campaign, make it easier for folks to choose to
eat in a healthy way. [Kathy Shields] We work with
restaurants and registered dietitians, and we help them
identify healthy menu items. We just started with one or two
interested restaurants, and we grew from there. [Tom Allen] As a company, I
believe we have a responsibility not only in the San Antonio
market, but in all markets to give the healthier choice
options to all people, and specifically the young children. [Maggie Thompson] We’re working
with the parks department to put in outdoor fitness equipment,
and we have these free fitness in the parks classes. [Louis Lopez] At every location
that we have, you’re going to find a free exercise
class once a week. [Sandy Jenkins] They partnered
with the CDC in order to install fitness stations in 14
parks in San Antonio. [Maggie Thompson] We found out
that if you make one little step at a time, that adds up. [Sandy Jenkins] Just run out and
play, go kick a ball, throw some Frisbee. [Teri O’Bryant] Kids don’t
even know they are exercising. You’re out there just having
fun, and exercising all parts of their bodies. Kids go home and tell their
parent there’s something happening at school,
and it’s a lot of fun. Would you please come? They come. [Maggie Thompson] The community
is really really embraced our fitness in the park opportunity. [Sandy Jenkins] We hear from
mothers, we hear from grandpas, we hear from children, we hear
from every part of the community saying how much they love
these fitness stations. [Julia Dana] The response to
bikeshare in San Antonio has been phenomenal. It’s exceeded our expectations. [Louis Lopez] I get to wake up
every morning and say this is going to be fun. I get to go home everyday, and
feel proud of what I was able to do. [Julian Castro] It’s not
just about creating the infrastructure in place, it’s
about people actually making those healthy choices.