Dougherty to hold forum on fitness goals

ALBANY -- Get moving.

The Dougherty County Health Department is continuing with its lecture and luncheon series by focusing this month on maintaining physical fitness goals.

The program "Steps to a Healthy Weight" is being held at the health department, located at 1710 S. Slappey Blvd., noon-1 p.m. Friday.

Instead of a single guest speaker, the session will feature local representatives from various organizations offering the public an overview of complications that can arise from carrying excess pounds, as well as available community resources for those with weight-loss ambitions.

"We are trying to educate the community of resources available for those struggling with weight loss," explained Alice Rodman, Dougherty's public health nurse specialist. "What works for one person might not work for another."

Not surprisingly, the Southeast has been known to struggle more than most other parts of the nation with obesity. Georgia is currently ranked No. 17 in a listing of the nation's fattest states.

"If you look at the Southeast on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map, it is pretty colorful," Rodman said. "We have a tendency to eat a lot of that home cooking."

While obesity is a problem that impacts people across racial and ethnic lines, African-American and Hispanic populations tend to be more vulnerable, Rodman said. Some of the potential complications resulting from excess weight can include high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and joint problems.

"Joints are meant to carry 150 pounds or so, but some of us are adding 200 pounds to that," Rodman said. "That will cause a lot of problems."

Southwest Public Health District Promotion Coordinator David Cooper will be the moderator for the forum. Representatives from High Energy, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), Lighten Your Load, Weight Watchers and Albany Parks and Recreation will serve on the panel.

The event is free and open to the public. Officials are requiring interested parties to reserve their spot by 5 p.m. Thursday to ensure space is available.

For more information or to register, call (229) 430-6230.