The issue of overweight and obesity is not new – earlier this year, it was reported that NC is the 10th most obese state in the nation for adults and the 11th most overweight and obese state for children. However, the Raleigh News & Observer – in their November 10th article titled, “Obese Teens Pack on More” – shed light on how sustained the problem is. According to researchers, 40% of obese children will pack on even more pounds, becoming morbidly obese as young adults. This information is disturbing at best when you consider the tremendous health and financial costs of carrying excess weight. Overweight individuals are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Annually, an obese person will amass medical costs that are 37% higher than their healthy weight counterparts.
Through Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the NC Council of Churches, congregations in NC are taking steps to improve the health of children by offering healthier snacks at youth events and encouraging physical activity. As people of faith, we acknowledge that our bodies are God’s temple and that we must love ourselves as we love and care for others.
Willona Stallings, Program Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness.