National Medical Association Urges More Exercise to Help Reverse Rise in Obesity

(Silver Spring, MD)- African American physicians from across the country will join with local residents of all ages on Saturday, July 28th for Walk a Mile with a Child™, a fitness walk and health festival at Xavier University hosted by the National Medical Association (NMA). Registration opens at 6:30 am at the University Center located at Drexel and Broadway Streets. The 1-mile walk begins at 7:00 am, followed by a Health Festival from 8:15 am until Noon. Both events are free and open to the public.

Walk a Mile with a Child™ is conducted in every city in which the NMA Annual Convention is held to raise awareness about the nation's rising rate in obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions. The incidence of obesity among children ages 6-11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years, and more than tripled for adolescents 12-19 years of age. Physicians, walking alongside the young people, will encourage greater physical activity. "Our message is simple," said Cedric Bright, MD, President of the National Medical Association. "Exercise like walking, along with a proper diet, should be part of a daily regimen. There are no membership fees, its low impact, doesn't require practice, and the only equipment is a good pair of walking shoes. We're especially pleased to host the Walk in Louisiana that was ranked the 5th most obese state in the Nation in 2011," added Dr. Bright. Activities at the Health Festival include interactive seminars on heart disease, men's health, children's health, mental health, diabetes, nutrition, exercise, and prostate cancer; in addition to free medical screenings for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, Hepatitis C, vision exams, and the HIV Rapid Test. There will also be food, giveaways, and raffles for such prizes as WiiFit, an MP3 Player, flat screen television, and more.

The initiative is a part of NMA's "We Stand with You!" campaign which includes community health awareness and outreach. Walk a Mile with a Child is sponsored in New Orleans by Novo Nordisk, Inc., Xavier University, OraSure Technologies, Inc., the National Dairy Council, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc.

All media are invited to attend, interviews will be granted.