Get Fit Kids walk this Saturday

Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 5, 2012

As the saying goes, “Thank goodness for Mississippi.”

Mississippi has now passed Alabama as the most obese state in the country.

And childhood obesity is a major contributor to that distinction, said Lawanda Bell, Christian Love Community Center activity director.

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“Obesity has a tremendous impact on the health of our youth,” she said. “One in every three children ages two to 19 is overweight or obese. We have a serious problem and we must bring awareness to this problem in order to reduce the number of obese children in Alabama.”

For that reason, the Christian Love Community Center is sponsoring its Second Annual Get Fit Kid Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“This is an awareness walk, not a fundraiser,” Bell said. “We want to bring the problem of obesity in young people to the forefront. The walk is one way that we can make the community aware of the problem as we continue to work toward getting our children and youth eating healthier and exercising more.”

The Get Fit Kid Walk will begin at 223 Segar Street on Troy and end at the downtown square. Refreshments will be available.

“Those who walk will deliver the anti-obesity message in a fun way,” Bell said. “The purpose of this project is to raise awareness of obesity in our youth and increase fun opportunities for physical activities all year long. The childhood obesity epidemic is a national health crisis.”

Bell said childhood obesity is a highly stigmatized condition, often associated with low self-esteem.

“Obese children are more likely to feel sad, lonely and nervous,” she said. “Obesity during childhood is also associated with some psychiatric disorders, including depression and binge-eating disorder, which may both contribute to and adversely impact obesity.”

More than 150 young people and their families participated in the first Get Fit Kids Walk and Bell said that expectations are that even more will join the walk on Saturday.

“The Get Fit Kids Walk is one great healthy good time for kids and their parents,” she said. “It is our sincere hope that the Walk will encourage families to incorporate physical activity and healthier eating habits in their lifestyle.”

Although the Get Fit Kids Walk is not a fundraiser, donations to the Christian Love Community Center programs are greatly appreciated. For more information or to make a donation, call 334-566-5210 or 672-2425.