Fitness guru attends Obesity Summit - - Jackson, MS

Fitness guru attends Obesity Summit

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- At the final day of the first ever Global Obesity Summit in Jackson political, health, and science leaders attended to discuss final strategies on what needs to be done to stop the obesity epidemic.

Former U.S. Senator Trent Lott took part in a panel session where he talked about the role the federal government can play to pull the state and the nation out of the crisis.

"This is about research, it's about education, and it's about a recognition that this is a national problem," Lott said.

In addition, Congressman Bennie Thompson paid a visit and talked about his own personal journey trying to get healthy.

Thompson said he's been waking up at 5 a.m. everyday to walk one hour. "My blood pressure is lower, my cholesterol is lower and for the most part, I feel better."

The highlight of the event on Thursday was fitness guru Donna Richardson-Joyner's talk about physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle.

Joyner is the founder of the "Body Gospel," an exercise routine that encompasses physical fitness for the mind, body, and spirit.

As part of her segment right after lunch, she got the crowd out of their seats and exercising to dance music.

"You can talk about, but you just can't talk the talk you gotta walk the walk."

Joyner has also been appointed by the President to lead the country on the council which will help promote fitness. This visit was an effort to jumpstart the nation in January with a new year's resolution.

"We're going to start in January with the President's challenge for six weeks getting adults to do 30 minutes of activities and getting kids to do 60 minutes of activities 5 days a week."

To start the day, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Seblius opened over breakfast.

In her speech, she talked about the need to improve childhood education and schools efforts to push healthy eating towards their students.

She said there is pending legislation in Congress to increase the amount of school lunches from $1.25 so schools can provide healthier choices for students.

"If we don't change the patterns that we're seeing right now. We have the first generation of children in America who will have shorter life span than their parents," Sebelius said.

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