The pandemic has made it difficult for some people to hit the gym and get moving, causing many to gain that so-called COVID-15. But studies have found that obesity can cause major complications if you contract COVID-19 and Kern County is not immune to obesity. 23ABC's Bayne Froney spoke with one Bakersfield resident who has created a way to motivate others in the community to start getting fit and healthy.
Studies have shown that those who are obese have a higher risk of being hospitalized if they were to contract COVID-19 due to having a weakened immune system. But, Ruth Bliss, a nutritionist with Community Action Partnership of Kern told 23ABC that eating right can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
"And we are really emphasizing the importance of fruits and vegetables which truly protect the body and help build the immune system," said Bliss.
Data from the California Health Interview Survey indicates that 35% of kern county adults are overweight, and 34.5% are obese. And with the pandemic keeping gyms closed and people inside, people have been unmotivated to keep up with healthy habits.
"It is based on what they are telling us over the phone, which is I need to start moving more, we are eating too much junk food and our snacks aren't what they should be, just snacking a lot," added Bliss.
But one Bakersfield resident wants to help motivate people to get up and move during the time of social distancing. Kyle Brown, who's also involved with the Bakersfield Bridal Association, has created a free competition called Bakersfield's Biggest Loser where the person who loses the most body fat percentage at the end of the competition wins $1,000.
"I was a little more fit a while back but with COVID and stuff like that I started putting on weight and I was like this has got to stop. So what can I do to motivate myself and motivate other people," asked Brown. "We want to be number one in something, and number one in obesity is not what we are looking for."
Kyle Oberg is participating in the competition and wants to start being more active in light of COVID-19.
"With everything going on, everyone is just kinda trying to be the best person that they can for themself, and for me I just kind of noticed that I've let myself go over time and it's just kind of time for a change."
If you're interested in signing up for the Bakersfield Biggest Loser competition you can weigh in at Warrior One Yoga Studio on September 1st or you can sign up online.