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OUR VIEW: Health initiative is a much needed excercise

There are plenty of numbers for Gwinnett County to be proud of, but this is not one —26 percent of adults living in the county are obese. As a state, Georgia ranks as the 20th most obese, with that number and Gwinnett’s coming from a 2013 report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The 2013 Gwinnett County Health Department Community Health Assessment explained those numbers in plain terms: “Gwinnett’s current obesity rate of 26 percent places a quarter of the adult population at higher risk for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems and stroke.” It also said that 20 percent of Gwinnett residents get no leisure-time physical activity.

So how do you attack those problems? This week the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department and Eastside Medical Center announced a partnership and a plan — an initiative called Live Healthy Gwinnett. The two entities have combined to use their expertise to focus on four overall wellness areas — be active, eat healthy, get checked and be positive.

A website — LiveHealthyGwinnett.com — has been launched in conjunction with the initiative, which focuses on simple ways to improve your lifestyle. Said Eastside Medical CEO Kim Ryan: “People can significantly reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases by making simple lifestyle changes: eating healthy, increasing physical activity and reducing stress.”

A Pop-Up Park event will be held April 26 at Eastside to officially launch the initiative, and the night before there will be a 1, 2 and 3K Glow Show where participants can race and walk in the dark. It’s a fun way to promote health awareness to residents of all ages.

This is an important initiative and a partnership that deserves kudos. But don’t wait until late April to get begin. The time to start living healthier is now.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact.