This year's Southern Obesity Summit, the 6th annual, will be held in Charlotte, NC from October 14 - 16, 2012.
When I learned of this event about six months ago, it seemed like it was a no-brainer that I ought to attend, and perhaps contribute in some manner, in that the Faith and Health Connection ministry is based in Charlotte. Another reason I was interested in becoming involved in the Southern Obesity Summit is that the topic of faith or spirituality had not been included in the formal session of any of the previous five Summits, and I feel strongly that the care of the spirit must be addressed.
Obesity prevention and weight loss has been an interest on mine for many years, dating back to when I directed a weight management initiative at a health care system in 1995. It's still an issue that I'm drawn to because I believe that spiritual issues are at the root of the obesity epidemic.
Long story short, I submitted a proposal for one of the breakout sessions and it was accepted. The title of my 10-minute talk at the Southern Obesity Summit, and its description is as follows:
"Caring for the Spirit - Why It's Essential in Our Fight Against Obesity"
Learn why the care of the spirit must be included in your obesity prevention strategies. Topics to be addressed: God's design for whole-person health; why and how we mess up this plan and why obesity is one of the consequences; the rationale for grounding mind-body-spirit health education on biblical principles; key "spiritual exercises" that should be part of any weight loss or obesity prevention educational initiative; why leaders of faith communities should be included in your strategic efforts; and a brief overview of a faith-based, whole-person health education program that organizations and churches could offer.
Southern Obesity Summit - How You Can Be Involved
I've also been asked to host a lunch-time Stakeholder Session on Monday. Our objective at this session will to brainstorm how representatives of the faith community can become involved in obesity prevention strategies of the 16 Southern States. Anyone who attends the Summit and has an interest in this topic, is encouraged to join us.
I'm encouraged that the leadership of this year's summit sees the merit of addressing the spiritual and faith piece of the obesity puzzle. In this light, I hope that this year will be a breakthrough year for the summit.
Obesity and Faith
What we need is more people who are passionate about their faith to become involved in the prevention of obesity. This summit is an opportunity to get involved and make a difference from a strategic standpoint. If you're interested in attending this year's Summit, it's not too late. The links I've provided will guide you to the registration process. If you plan to attend, please contact me through the Faith and Health Connection website.
For those who live in one of the 16 Southern states, I encourage you to pass this post's link along to those you know who might have an interest in attending the Summit.
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