Health officials say healthier options on fast food menus promote healthier eating

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - North Street in Nacogdoches is known for having a variety of fast food options.

As residents crowd the drive thru's of these local eateries, health officials say these fast options are a direct link to the state's high obesity rate.

"We have an epidemic of obesity and we know as health professionals its easier to prevent obesity than to treat obesity," said Kelli Drenner, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology.

In the past few years, the menus of restaurants like sonic, Whataburger and McDonalds have been transformed, offering fruits to substitute fries and milk to replace soda.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Kelli Drenner says today's fast paced life style keeps people from focusing on the nutritional value of what they consume.

"With working parents and just all of us busier than we've been and more productive that eating fast food is an easy back up," said Drenner.

Health officials say when people know the amount of calories in their food options they are more likely to make healthier choices.

The Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition offers residents a list of local restaurants that offer meals that taste good and are good for you.

"If I see a burger that has 1000 calories in it that is definitely a lot in one feeding, especially if you are eating three times a day," said Brielle Benoit, SFA Grad Student.

Health officials say trips to the drive thru should become a rare occasion. But if you find yourself waiting in line to place your order, remember everything in moderation.

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