Of all the health-related challenges across Middle Georgia, the number of overweight and obese adults and children ranks among the most pressing.
Georgia has the 19th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It’s 30.7 percent, an increase from 20.6 percent in 2000 and just 10.1 percent in 1990.
People who are obese are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as other health issues.
With all that in mind, Coliseum Northside Hospital is offering a free seminar on weight-related health issues at 6 p.m. July 18 in the hospital’s first floor conference room. The seminar, titled “Your Health Can’t Weight,” will discuss how being overweight can hamper one’s quality of life, from social and psychological issues to life-threatening ones.
“We know obesity is a big issue in our area. That’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at this,” said Jennifer Jones, the marketing manager for Coliseum Health System. “We want to make sure we’re offering it for people in our area.”
One goal is to alleviate obesity-related health concerns for those who want to make a change but haven’t committed to it yet.
One’s “body mass index,” a weight-to-height ratio, is used as an indicator of obesity. A BMI from 19 to 24 is considered healthy, 25 to 29.9 overweight, and 30 and higher obese.
According to the County Health Ranking, the state of Georgia has seen a steady increase in the number of people reporting a BMI of 30 or more, from an estimated 28 percent of adults in 2013 up to 30 percent this year. Both Bibb and Houston Counties are above the state average, with 31 percent of adults reporting a BMI of 30 or higher.
Crawford County has seen a 3 percent decrease in adult obesity reports, down to 27 percent this year, while Baldwin County reported a 6 percent increase, up to 37 percent.
During the seminar, medical professionals will give information on treatment for related health conditions including acid reflux, joint pain and sleep apnea. They will also discuss the prospect of weight loss surgery.
The seminar will last an hour and is open for people of all ages to attend. To register, go to ColiseumWeightLoss.com or call (478) 746-4646.
The hospital’s next weight-related seminar will be Oct. 17.