Fresh Perspectives Spark New Energy in the Battle Against Obesity

North Carolinians Explore Active Working Solutions

More than 400 citizens and leaders from across North Carolina gathered October 7-8, 2008, at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro to work together and actively seek practical solutions for the state's obesity problems.

The two-day conference, A Call to Action: Working Together to Solve North Carolina's Obesity Crisis, kicked off Tuesday evening with Kevin Cain, president and CEO of the John Rex Endowment, welcoming attendees and Dr. Leah Devlin, state health director, delivering the opening address.

Dr. John Ratey, author of SPARK, followed Dr. Devlin with his powerful message which explores the connection between exercise and the brain - one of the burgeoning areas of neuroscience research. His presentation set the tone for the two-day conference by igniting a different way of thinking about exercise, including how it can help children decrease aggression, improve motivation and attention, and optimize learning and school performance.

A central theme for the interactive sessions was an active exchange of ideas. Participants had the opportunity to learn about complementary programs in other parts of the state and share their successes and obstacles in the battle against obesity. Presentations from keynote speakers and breakout sessions are available online via the Moses Cone - Wesley Long Community Health Foundation website.

Conference organizers and sponsors include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, The Duke Endowment, the John Rex Endowment, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Moses Cone - Wesley Long Community Health Foundation, and the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund. Planning partners include the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Heart Association, Be Active North Carolina, Get Healthy Guilford/YMCA of Greater Greensboro, NC Health Alliance, NC Network of Grantmakers, NC Prevention Partners, and the NC Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the NC Division of Public Health.