EUGENE, Ore. -- Endless hiking biking and running trails define Oregon's landscape and culture, but this paradise for outdoor enthusiasts has a dark secret. Even it isn't immune to the obesity epidemic.
The Oregon Health Authority recently found obesity rates jumped 121% among adults from 1990-2009. The study blames a lack of physical activity and poor nutrition.
Dr. Patrick Luedke serves as the Lane County Public Health Officer. He sees patients and shapes health care policy.
"It's steadily getting worse during our lifetime unfortunately," said Luedke. "Roughly two-thirds of our adults are obese or overweight."
The news isn't any better for kids. Luedke said obesity rates in younger ages has doubled and in some cases tripled.
Senior Community Health Analyst Jennifer Jordan said the county recently came up with a three-year-plan for Oregonians to take back their health. The plan starts with working on changing policies at ten large employers.
"We are looking at local work-site food environments, making sure the kind of food our cafeterias have kinds of food that we want our employees to eat, that our vending machines include the kind of food that we are all trying to eat more of," said Jordan.
Lane County Public Health recently adopted a policy where they only serve healthy foods at their meetings and events.
A new study from the Agriculture Department counters the popular belief that eating healthy is expensive. That study found by weight or portion size, grains fruits and vegetables cost less than junk food. Marci Torres directs the Healthy Campus Initiatives at the University of Oregon. She agrees, you can eat right without breaking the bank.
"You plan out what your menu is going to be for the week," said Torres. "You prepare what recipes you want to cook and then what's your budget and what you are looking at so when you go to the store, you know what you are looking for."
Torres also says don't be afraid of buying frozen produce. It's cheaper that fresh produce, lasts longer and is still healthy. Buy fruits and veggies that are in-season. Also, buy bulk if you can. If you are worried you won't finish the food before it goes bad, find a friend and go in on it together.