PINEHURST — Being obese means more than being heavy. It means being so heavy that the excess body fat of obesity has become a serious medical condition that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, heart disease and other chronic ailments.
Obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate. More than 95 percent of those who do lose weight will regain it within five years.
The annual Walk from Obesity was established to raise awareness of obesity, a problem that has become an epidemic in children as well as adults, and to support programs that focus on obesity prevention, education, research, treatment and advocacy. The 2012 Walk from Obesity in Pinehurst will be held Saturday, Nov. 17. It will begin at the Cannon Park Shelter and continue along the Pinehurst Greenway.
Check-in and event-day registration will get under way at 7 a.m.
One of the participants in the annual event will be Raymond Washington, M.D., a bariatric (weight-loss) surgeon with the FirstHealth Bariatric Center at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
“I look forward to the upcoming Walk from Obesity because it is an opportunity to celebrate patients who have succeeded in becoming healthier and, hopefully, happier people,” he said.
Registration for 2012 Walk from Obesity can be done the day of the walk, and payment of the $35 event-day fee can be made by cash, money order or check. To register online, go to www.walkfromobesity.com now through Nov. 16 and click on “Find a Race” and Pinehurst. The cost is $25.
All registrations include an official Walk from Obesity T-shirt, and those who register online will have access to their own DonorDrive fundraising page.
Children under the age of 12 can be registered to participate for free with a paid parent or guardian. The event also includes an optional coloring contest that will result in one lucky child receiving a prize at the event. The child registration and coloring form can be accessed in the “Resources” section after online registration is completed.
The non-competitive Walk from Obesity brings together participants of all ages. The sponsoring American Society for Bariatric Surgery is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to increasing professional and public awareness of bariatric surgery and its role in treating morbid obesity.
Walkers raise money by asking friends, family and co-workers to sponsor them. Additional funds are raised through sponsorships, matching gifts, corporate contributions and other fund-raising activities.
According to Melissa Herman, R.D., a registered dietitian who works with Moore Regional’s weight-loss patients, the projected costs of the obesity epidemic are staggering.
“Our current circumstances are terrible,” she said. “We have young children presenting to our office with arthritis and other serious diseases that are potentially preventable. The nation is on a trajectory where a significant portion of the population is moving into the obese category.”
“I think an event like the Walk from Obesity is so important, not only to raise awareness and educate the public that obesity is not always caused by simple behavioral issues, but is a much larger issue,” Herman said. “More research and funding are needed to better understand the internal mechanism that control metabolism, appetite and satiety from food.”
For more information or to volunteer for the Walk from Obesity in Pinehurst, please contact Melissa Herman at 910-715-6283 or by email at email@example.com.