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Event aims to teach benefits of living an active lifestyle

The facts were startling.

After attending the 2010 Global Obesity Summit in Jackson, Janell Edwards learned we are now living in a generation that will bury their children due to childhood obesity.

“Twelve years will be shaved off of their lifespan because of chronic diseases that result of obesity coming on to them earlier as a result childhood obesity,” Edwards said.

Diseases, she said, which include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Edwards, who is the executive director of FCSO Inc., a nonprofit organization, said, “That’s really, really serious.”

Therefore, in an effort to educate communities about the problem, she and her husband started the FAT to Fit Olympic Games Qualifier, which will be held in Vicksburg for the second year in a row.

As a person who in the past struggled with weight issues, Edwards said she and her husband wanted to figure out a way to help youth learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.

“We wanted to do something that would give them an understanding and consciousness of living a healthy life,” she said.

One way the FAT to Fit program addresses the childhood obesity problem, she said, is to teach young people the importance of physical activity.

“Going out to play is almost like a dinosaur. It is like a thing of the past,” Edwards said. “Last year the lady that won our jump rope competition (during the Vicksburg FAT to Fit event) was 63 years old.”

Edwards said in addition to jump rope competitions, this year’s FAT to Fit Olympic Games Qualifier will also include hula hooping, tug of war and three-on-three basketball competitions.   

“It is going to be two fun days of full activities,” Edwards said.

A health screening will be held prior to the competitions and then groups will be categorized according to age.

Prizes will also be awarded to winners.

“If you win a competition, you will win a cash prize,” Edwards said, along with two raffle tickets.

For those who just participate in the FAT to Fit program, Edwards said, they would also receive one raffle ticket.

“After all of the competitions that day, we pull the tickets and you could win a brand new bicycle. The reason we do this is we want you to continue to be active outside of the event,” Edwards said.

During last year’s Vicksburg FAT to Fit event more than 200 people participated, and 42 new bicycles and 15 pedal scooters were awarded.

The FAT to Fit Olympic Games Qualifier is scheduled to run from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, and will resume at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Jackson Street Community Center, 923 Walnut St.

The event is free and open to all ages. Ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult, Edwards said.

Call 601-451-5111 or email fcsosolutions@yahoo.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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