Motivation, cost big challenges with rising obesity rate

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A national study shows South Carolina's obesity rate could more than double in eighteen years. Local fitness and health experts say it's not just about staying fit; an increase in obesity-related health problems could affect your wallet.

"There's lab studies done on a more regular basis," said Dr. Ron Reynolds of Beach Urgent care. "The culmination of all these processes leads to more expensive testing."

A new study, conducted by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows South Carolina's current obesity rate just over 30%, but by 2030, that number could rise to almost 64%.

The study also shows obesity-related healthcare costs rise by $66 billion each year. Doctor Reynolds says there can be a low-tech solution.

"Make sure you're aware you need to be active," he said. "Find an exercise regimen you can follow."

While a physical fitness regimen can solve several health issues brought on by obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle, Planet Fitness trainer Ian Melhorn says for people trying to get in shape, it can be tough to get started.

"It's about getting into the gym," Melhorn said. "You  have to come determined to get into the gym."

Melhorn says lifestyle change is 20% exercise 80% diet.

"A lot of people have this mindset: eat whatever you want, come into the gym and work it off," he said. "It doesn't work like that."