Conference to Combat Obesity

Takeaways from a recent local conference can help Detroiters get healthy

t our family dinners, we were required to eat everything on our plates. Since the only chubby photos of my brother are from his infancy, I must have been the only one to take my mother seriously. Countless clean plates over the years have contributed to a lifelong personal preoccupation, if not obsession, with diet and weight.

Being reasonably informed and knowledgeable, I thought the Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) Conference to Combat Obesity had nothing new to offer. And I thought hearing discussions on the causes of and solutions to excess body fat could never amount to a fun-filled day.

But the skillful, creative GDAHC group put new twists on fat.

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At the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, they encouraged and reminded attendees to increase both levels and frequency of daily activities. The juxtaposition of Zumba dance party workout gyrations and graceful Tai Chi movements provided excellent examples of the variety of exercise types one can enjoy.

The Detroit Edison Public School Academy’s nurse, Maureen Murphy, shared her surprise that 600 students, parents, friends and teachers unexpectedly participated in a Saturday walk along the historic Dequindre Cut.

The statuesque Dr. Earlexia Norwood commanded the day. This savvy physician demonstrated and explained touching your toes after a meal gets the blood flowing to improve circulation and move belly fat. Just ignore folks who might think you’re nuts and do it!

Personally, nothing exceeded the indescribable giddiness and profound nostalgia I experienced with a hula hoop. My neon green custom silicone bracelet says “HYPER-BMI.” This coded message from a clever and creative physician is a treasured conference keepsake to remind me of all the fun I had and how much more I have yet to learn.

Given the challenges we face, it’s easy to give in to the temptation of fleeting comfort of food. Poor lifestyle choices can lead to too much body fat or being over weight. Being overweight can be one pound away from obesity. Being overweight or obese can limit one’s lifestyle choices and can cause poor health and stress.

Eat less. Move more. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic or meetings dedicated to the topic.

GDAHC President and CEO Vernice Davis Anthony shed light on the number of overweight and obese adults by sharing figures from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report:

  • Approximately 728,000 Michigan adults are obese
  • Sixty-five percent of Michigan’s population is overweight or obese
  • Nationally, over the past three decades, an 80 percent increase in diabetes prevalence can be attributed to the rise in obesity

With all the fun we had, there were some sobering moments.

For more information about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, take advantage of these resources:

www.healthynewme.org
www.ahealthiermichigan.org
www.hypeathletics.org
www.iamkissedbybliss.com
www.mycarecompare.org

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