Mississippi is now the most obese state in the nation. That may not come as a shock to many of you, but this is the first year that Mississippi has reached the number one spot with now 40% of the population in this great state living with obesity.
Obesity is defined as the condition of being grossly overweight or carrying excessive body fat and being grossly overweight with excessive body fat puts us at risk of developing a plethora of diseases. Diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Not only is obesity the main risk factor for those diseases but excessive body fat fosters other diseases like certain cancers and heart diseases. It also debilitates our body’s ability to rid itself of more common foreign toxins that causes us to catch colds and develop the flu.
This is how this works in a nutshell - Fat cells are one of our bodies storage systems and any food our body receives an excessive amount of, after a certain amount of time, our body converts it into fat and stores it in those fat cells hoping the fat stored will eventually be converted and used as energy. When it isn’t, our fat cells hold on to the excessive fat, hoping and wishing to be used as energy, and accumulates over time and raises our BMI and body fat% to the levels over 30 and 30% respectively and medically termed obese. Now the organs those foreign toxins like to attack are smothered and covered in excessively stored fat, prolonging and sometimes prohibiting the healing agents carried in our blood stream from reaching those toxins.
We could continue but as you can probably see by now, obesity is as mean and serious as it comes. It’s a cancer that no one is calling cancer but as cancer does, excessive body fat slowly grows in our body and shuts it down from functioning properly. Suffocating the best quality of life out of us, one extra plate (not properly converted into energy through being more physically active) at a time.
Enter H.E.A.L. Mississippi.
We were founded in 2017, as a faith-based organization, which embraces a strategy to improve health outcomes in low income areas across the state, particularly among people suffering with obesity and diseases related to obesity. The epidemic of obesity is now a pandemic and has long been one of the top 10 public health concerns, not just in the U.S. but in the world and Mississippi is ground zero of the fight with now almost one out of two Mississippians living with obesity.
Currently, we provide health education and program implementation in community health centers throughout the state.
We are a diabetes prevention recognized program through the Centers of Disease Control and a Diabetes Self-Management Education Recognized Program and we also work with physician practices implementing programs to reverse the advancement of obesity and its related diseases.
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