New figures show around 28 percent of Kentuckians are severely overweight.
A report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says Kentucky ranks seventh in the nation for obesity and local health officials say the problem isn't getting any better.
"At least 36 percent of the patients we see here at Whitesburg ARH are admitted and one of their co-admission criteria would be obesity," said Jackie Fraley, director of Dietetic Services at Whitesburg ARH.
"This is a preventable problem. This is not like a disease," said Dr. Magued Khouzam, director of the Bariatric Center at Whitesburg ARH.
Health officials say obesity also contributes to several other health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and arthritis.