Obesity and family medical history play a big role in the diabetes epidemic here in the valley.
Some people are choosing not to sit back, in hopes of improving their odds of living a healthier lifestyle.
One of our very own channel 5 news employees is doing just that and keeping the weight off, naturally.
Take a look... take pkg:it's no surprise to see rachel deen on the go these days... nats it wasn't always the case sot rachel deen lost 75 pounds naturally "at 225 i was very sluggish, i was tired.
I would spend my entire weekend sitting on the couch watching tv, you know, not being present so to speak for my family."3 and a half years ago, deen - a wife and mother to a young son - decided something had to change.
She had a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure - she knew the change would have to become her new lifestyle.
Sot rachel deen lost 75 pounds naturally "my 40th birthday was coming up, and it was one of those things that i wanted to do something big for 40.
And one of the biggest things i could do was lose weight.
And she has.
She's now 42.
Deen says she's more confident and has more energy than ever.
Nats "i'm just happier - my life is happy now" it wasn't easy to shed 75 pounds, deen admits.
The cravings for burgers and pastas creep in every once in a while.
She stays on track by focusing on pic the girl she never wants to be again, and eating in moderation.
Sot rachel deen lost 75 pounds naturally "i enjoy eating pizza with my son, or having a whataburger or you know going to chick-fil-a or wherever, but i just limit the - i just limit the amount that i eat and i don't do it as often."
When this busy krgv channel 5 news sales associate, doesn't have time to prepare a healthy meal at home - she makes sure to chose a healthy alternative.
Sot :rachel deen lost 75 pounds naturally "i had a no turn back policy, i basically i went from a size 18 to a size 4, so what i've done, is every time clothes don't fit anymore because they are too big, i donate them.
I don't have what normal women, say my fat clothes, i don't have those.
I get rid of them because i don't want to turn back."
That's exactly what doctor rose gowen pushed for -- a healthier alternative for people to adopt, and never turn back.
Gowen, a brownsville city commissioner, works with organizations and non-profits like the u-t health science center school of public heatlh, for the past decade encouraging people to eat healthy and exercise.
She says research shows 1 in 3 valley residents are diabetic - and 50 percent of them don't know they have the disease.
She adds, the majority of people here, are overweight.
Sot dr. rose gowen brownsville city commissioner "when 80 percent of your people are either obese or overweight, then the definition of the community shifts, and what was considered normal weight is now underweight, and what is considered overweight is now considered normal weight.
So it's very hard to motivate a community on a population level, when they feel normal."genetics, lack of exercise and processed food - all contribute to the issue.
Gowen says the city of brownsville is giving folks here resources, to take control of their health - they are forming partnerships with organizations to provide free activities and services, and looking for grants to fund projects.
Sot dr. rose gowen brownsville city commissioner "we've been able to fund great, many miles of trails in brownsville without touching the general fund, and we're seeing now some really cool stuff, if you will, which are protected bike lanes, and elevated bike lanes, cycle tracks that make every one safer when they ride their bike, when they walk or jog and safer when you drive" the goal for the city, gowen says, is to have a green space within a half- mile of every home in the city, to get people moving.
Like this trail, just a short walk from deen's home.
She tells us it was a tough journey... sot rachel deen says her battle with weight loss was worth it.
"i keep focusing on my family and my son and it just keeps me going."
She says its a goal anyone can accomplish, if they commit to improving their life.
In brownsville daisy martinez -- channel 5 news heart