EDIT health walk set for this weekend

Rachael Scarborough King
Star Staff Writer
Published: July 21, 2006

Local residents will be walking their way to better health Saturday morning as part of a program designed to combat obesity and diabetes in minority communities.

The walk, organized by the West Anniston Foundation, starts at Zinn Park in Anniston at 8 a.m. Saturday. It is a part of the foundation’s EDIT – Everyone Doing it Together – program funded by a federal grant.

“It is a push to get an increased awareness of the benefits of physical activity and good nutrition in maintaining overall health,” said Charity Richey-Bentley, executive director of the West Anniston Foundation. “Walking is a very affordable, easy and safe way to increase your physical activity and substantially improve your overall physical fitness.”

Streets will be blocked off from Zinn Park to Wilmer Avenue, across 18th Street to Noble Street, and back to Zinn Park. The city of Anniston will proclaim Saturday EDIT day.

“I think anytime that you sensitize your community to health issues through whatever means, through whatever group, I think it benefits your community,” City Manager George Monk said.

The event is focused specifically on the minority community because diabetes rates are higher in minority groups. Southerners also are more at risk than northerners, Richey-Bentley said.

“Diabetes is a silent killer, you can be diabetic for years and never have symptoms,” she said. “It’s very important that there be increased awareness as to the number one risk factor is being overweight.”

Part of the EDIT program has been to hold screenings for diabetes so that at-risk people can be tested. Richey-Bentley said her foundation already has identified several people with diabetes who did not know they had it.

“We are finding and intervening in the course of diabetes so that further complications like blindness and limb amputations do not occur,” she said.

Saturday’s event is free, and Richey-Bentley said she is expecting 200 to 300 people.

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