Childhood Obesity In Georgia Nearly Leads Nation

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- Valdosta, Ga. - Aug. 18, 2012 -

A new report says Georgia suffers high obesity among adults. But it is only expected to get worse as Georgia is ranked second highest in the country for childhood obesity.

Diane Howard believes the key to a healthier future is by starting young. She is chair of a program called "Partnership for Health" which is aimed at teaching kids healthier decisions starting in the garden.

"If they participate in one of the "P's", either planting, picking or preparing, then they will know more about the food and the likelihood of eating that particular food will increase," Howard said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. Doctors are seeing more and more patients suffering from adult-type obesity-related disease. Some are quick to blame the traditional southern diet. But it may just be a dependency on quicker meals and losing sight of where calories come from.

The problem of obesity is more prevalent in rural parts of the state. Where healthy foods are harder to come by and there is not as much to offer in the way of physical activity.

But Howard says that's no excuse. That is why they do things like teach gardening and take kids on canoe trips.

"First thing is get off the sofa. Get away from the computer and get active," said Howard.

The CDC says Georgia's overall obesity rate is lower than nearby Alabama and South Carolina, but still a higher rate than Tennessee, North Carolina and of course Florida.

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To learn more about the "Partnership For Health" program just follow the link below to their website.