Obesity on the rise in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Obesity on the rise in South Georgia

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March 24, 2004

Valdosta - Carla Holmes starts most every morning with a workout at the YMCA. "I come in four days a week, do cardio and lift weights," said Holmes.

Staying fit is one of her top priorities. "I'm in my forties now, and I just want to stay in shape and stay healthy," said Holmes.

But not everyone considers their health so important. The South Health District has the highest number of obese women in Georgia. "Twenty-two point nine percent of the state's women are obese but here in our district, we're all the way up to 33.2 percent," said Jennifer Steedley, District Public Information Officer.

The South Health District includes Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift, and Turner counties. At 11.3 percent, this area also has the state's highest rate of diabetes. "There is some correlation between the two, because obesity is a risk factor for diabetes," said Steedley.

But a simple change in lifestyle makes all the difference. "Eating more healthy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains," said Pricilla Register, Nurse.

And most importantly, being more physically active. "We have pilates, resistance training yoga, and you only have to come in for about an hour 3-4 days a week," said Linda Swenson, Trainer.

It's a small part of your day that could make a lifetime of differences.

posted at 3:30 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com