Health experts say that obesity is a preventable problem for many people, and that's why Georgia has kicked off its "take charge of your health" program to help prevent obesity and improve statewide obesity and health.
Jeselyn Rhodes, a Georgia health promoter, says, "Within our schools, within our faith-based groups, what we're trying to do is set goals and standards that can be used to decrease our overall prevalence of obesity as well as other chronic diseases."
The new state efforts will work well with the current programs already underway in the South Health District, according to officials.
That means folks will be getting the same health message from a variety of sources.
Health experts say the local numbers really prove the state needs this program. They say whatever can be done to get people out onto tracks exercising or just eating better, it can only help improve the bad health numbers we're seeing here.
Jennifer Steedley, South Health District spokesperson, says, "The fact is simple and clear here in Valdosta and Lowndes County and the entire South Health District. We have a problem with obesity. It's widespread. Women, men and children, there's no picking one group, we have a major problem."
It’s a major problem which the experts say could stifle our economy if something isn't done soon.