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Sondra E. Z. Hines, AILT, is an adjunct professor of health & wellness and is certified to teach group fitness exercise and Zumba. Wednesday Wellness - Fitness News You Can Use is published weekly. Email: sondraezhines@yahoo.com.

To encourage families to stay healthy, Charlotte Parent magazine has issued a Fit Family Challenge.

Families earn points by exercising for at least 120 minutes a week, practicing other healthy habits and attending “Fun Fit Meetups.”

A grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a one-year YMCA membership. Smaller prizes will be awarded weekly and monthly.

Families may register through September 15. Once signed up, families will track their participation using an online activity tracker. There is even one for children.

For more information, visit http://www.charlotteparent.com/articlemain.php?Fit-Family-Challenge-4103.

The Skinny on Fat

Mississippi, with an obesity rate of 33.4 percent, is the most obese state in the nation, according to a new ranking by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Colorado, with a rate of 20.7 percent, is the skinniest.

In total, 12 states have obesity rates about 30 percent. In addition to Mississippi, they are

• Louisiana (33.4%)
• West Virginia (32.4%)
• Alabama (32.0%)
• Michigan (31.3%)
• Oklahoma (31.1%)
• Arkansas (30.9%)
• Indiana (30.8%)
• South Carolina (30.8%)
• Kentucky (30.4%)
• Texas (30.4%)

The CDC defines obesity as a body mass index (a calculation based on weight and height ratios) of 30 or higher.

Obesity has been lined to “a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs,” said Jeffrey Levi, TFAH’s executive director. “It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced.”

While obesity problems can be addressed with improved nutrition and higher rates of physical activity, “we’re not investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and see the returns in terms of health and savings,” Levi said.

So where did North Carolina rank on the Obesity chart? We came in 17th at 29.1 percent.

Eating for the Brain

Babies and toddlers fed a healthy diet may have slightly higher IQs by the time they are eight years old, says a new study published online in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Read more here: http://www.womenshealth.gov/news/headlines/667473.cfm

THIS WEEK’S FIT TIP: Papayas, a delicious summer fruit, has a full day’s supply of vitamin C and may help kick a summer cold. Or eat a pear, which has more fiber than apples.

Until, next time, I wish you good health and nutritional wellness!
Editors Note: For more health/fitness-related tales, tips, testimonials and more, visit Qcitymetro's Health page: www.qcitymetro.com/health.

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October 5, 2015
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