Addressing Obesity at a High-Tech Town Hall Meeting – Shelby Sun

An estimated 11 million people in Africa will die of famine this year. Approximately, two-thirds of all adults and one-third of all children in the United States are now overweight; of these, nearly 50% of adults and 16% of children are obese. Though, we live in an age of globalization, our world still has incredible contradictions.

Over the past two years the Healthy Memphis Common Table, a coalition of over 100 community partners, has been working to address the obesity epidemic in our community. In November 2002, a gathering of 600 healthcare workers was convened at the Norfleet forum to address how the medical community could tackle diabetes and obesity in Memphis.

Now on Saturday, January 21, 2006 in collaboration with Shaping America’s Youth (SAY), the Common Table is holding a high-tech town meeting of a 1000 people. People of all ages and backgrounds are invited. This meeting was originally scheduled for September 17 but due to hurricane Katrina, it was rescheduled.

At the meeting people of Memphis will be able to express their opinions on how to reduce obesity among adolescents. Many questions will be addressed such as:
“What are barriers which families and individuals face in improving their eating habits and physical activity level?”
“What would success local like in six months?”
“What can we achieve in next 60 days?”

The town hall meeting is a free event which is sponsored by local and national corporations along with national organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and Office of the US Surgeon General.

The town meeting is very up to date in technology. In each discussion there is at least one laptop. To vote, each person is given a keypad to cast in their vote.

The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. It will take place at the Cook Convention Center. To register for the town meeting, please go to www.healthymemphis.com .

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