OXFORD, Miss. – Ten percent of the Dutch are obese, and experts predict that rate will increase to a quarter of the population by 2025.
To help educate the country’s future health promotion and intervention leaders, University of Mississippi health promotion professor Allison Ford-Wade is slated to serve as guest lecturer at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, an applied sciences university.
“My hope is to share with them the causes and consequences of being overweight,” Ford-Wade said.
The lectures, spanning two days in March, are aimed to teach international junior- and senior-level students in the university’s health and active lifestyle curriculum about the social and behavioral problems that being overweight and obese cause.
Ford-Wade also expects to provide students with successful best practice approaches to combating the problem.
At UM, Ford-Wade is working with Student Health Services on a new weight-loss program called New Beginnings. The referral-based program is open to Ole Miss students, faculty and staff members.
“We are seeing dramatic results,” Ford-Wade said. “We had 20 people in the program last fall, and they lost a total of 100 pounds combined. One hundred pounds! That’s an entire person.”
Earlier this month, UM was recognized by the American Heart Association as one of six organizations statewide to earn the AHA’s Gold Award for participating in Fit-Friendly, an employee healthy lifestyle promotion program.
Figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that nearly a third of Mississippi’s population is obese, the highest rate in the nation.
The best way to fight obesity is with physical activity and proper nutrition, Ford-Wade said.
“You have to watch portion sizes, try to eat five fruits or vegetables a day, and daily exercise is key,” she said.
Ford-Wade earned her doctoral degree in health science in 2001 from the University of Arkansas. She joined the UM faculty in 2004 and was honored with the 2006 School of Applied Sciences’ Thomas A. Crowe outstanding faculty award.
For more information on programs in the UM Department of Health Promotion, go to http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/hesrm/Health_Promotion/index.htm.