October 21, 2018

Heard Community Invited to Kick Off ‘Get Healthy West Georgia’

Tanner Health System and the Community Foundation of West Georgia are launching a massive new initiative to reduce obesity rates and improve the health of communities in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties—and area residents are invited to be among the first involved.

Get Healthy West Georgia is a new initiative that will support residents in adopting more physically active lifestyles and making healthier nutrition choices.

The community launch event will be Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. in Classroom 2 of the Health Education and Wellness Learning Center at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton. The event is free to attend.

“Obesity and unhealthy lifestyles are literally cutting short the lives of residents throughout west Georgia,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “They are contributing to high rates of heart disease and diabetes. With Get Healthy West Georgia, we’re taking charge in encouraging a change in the way people choose to live their lives. Healthier meals, more exercise and a focus on wellness can turn this around.”

A report earlier this year from the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute provided county-by-county statistics on more than 3,000 counties throughout the country. According to the report, 31 percent of adults in Carroll and Haralson counties are obese—higher than the national (25 percent) and Georgia (28 percent) benchmarks.

Heard County’s adult obesity rate was 28 percent—still above the national benchmark, but on target with the state’s. The percentages of adults who report getting insufficient leisure physical activity—such as walking and other recreation—also are higher than state and national benchmarks for all three counties.

“Something needs to be done, as a community, to impact this trend,” said Gelon Wasdin, chairman of the board for the Community Foundation of West Georgia. “With Get Healthy West Georgia, residents will have access to the tools, resources and support they need to make healthy choices. We want good health to be something that people will get excited about. This will be available to everyone in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties at no cost, so everyone will have the opportunity to take steps to improve their health.”

At the launch event, Tanner will present acclaimed author Michelle May, MD, the physician who wrote “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.”

Dr. May will discuss “mindful eating” and how meaningful, lasting changes to one’s diet can be achieved.

She has earned the Excellence in Patient Education Innovation Award, leads Am I Hungry® Mindful Eating Workshops around the world and has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show, Discovery Health Channel, Fox News Radio, Oprah Radio and more.

Residents also can learn more about the initiative’s new interactive Web site and can be among the first to join Get Healthy West Georgia.

To learn more about the Get Healthy West Georgia community launch event on April 25 or to register, call 770.214.CARE.

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