Local organization targets obesity in SWLA - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local organization targets obesity in SWLA

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Nearly one third of Louisiana's adults are considered obese. One group in Southwest Louisiana is making its business to help fight obesity in the area. 

The Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana is a program through the SWLA Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC) to target obesity in youth and adults in Louisiana.

"Our goal is to move the spectrum a little bit. We're not asking people to change their lives completely. We're asking people to think about their health and put their health first," Jennifer Burris, Director for the SWLAHEC said. 

Burris said the Partnership joined up with other local businesses and organizations to help fund projects and programs the Partnership wants to implement in the community. She said the program will set up fitness trainings at local recreation centers and work with the schools to help educate kids on the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

"This is the first generation that is possible going to live a lot less than their parents, so targeting children is our main goal. Getting them healthier, expanding their quality of life, expanding their life span is our main goal," Burris said. 

The Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana received a grant of $750,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield to help fund these programs, but they also raised close to $1-million to math that funding from community partners.

"I think Southwest Louisiana is extremely fortunate to have been awarded this grant," Burris said. "They will make a true different in their lifestyle of Southwest Louisiana folks."

A difference in lifestyle and on the scale.

The Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana will start implementing programs and activities now to get youth involved to help tackle this growing issue of childhood obesity.

By Spring 2013, Burris said, the Partnership will be in full force in SWLA.

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