Adult obesity not getting better in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - It was a real black eye on the Tri-Cities when we were named one of the fattest communities in America. And a recent report found our weight problem is only getting worse as the years go on.

Looking at him today you wouldn't believe this was once Mike Noftle. Just three-years ago he weighed more than 300 pounds. Doctors told him he could die.

"I was living without much thought towards my own personal health, probably not a lot different than most people," said Mike Noftle.

Mike lost the weight smartly by watching his calories and working out. Mike's success is rare in the Tri-Cities where nearly a third of our community is obese. Not just overweight, but obese too much body fat.

A recent ranking of the counties in Washington dropped Franklin to 27th out of 39 for overall health. Benton did see an improvement, but not through the help of adult obesity numbers.

Since they began these rankings four-years ago our obesity rate has only gotten worse increasing to 31 percent in the recent total. Mike feels relieved he's not part of that figure.

"It's just a world of difference, I sleep better, I feel better, I don't have grogginess that I used to have," said Noftle.

Mike now owns a restaurant he pitches as "healthy" fast food. Extreme Pita opened earlier this year.

"I started to eat more healthy, we as a family started to eat more healthy," said Noftle.

"I do have a lot of children in my clinic that do have diabetes and hypertension, adult diseases that children shouldn't have," said Dr. Indranai Saha.

Dr. Saha says that's often linked to bad eating habits. Mike doesn't expect this to be a problem his family faces again.

"I would say it was more disappointment that I allowed myself to get to that state, but at the same time empowerment knowing I could do something about it," said Noftle.

Empowerment to break the cycle of obesity that's plaguing our community.

Doctors say if you're looking for an immediate change in your house cut the fruit juice and pop. It's loaded with sugar. Opt for milk or water for kids instead.