Hundreds take first step in tackling Adams County obesity rate

Chad Rodgers, front right, operations director for the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, goes over the ACTION registration process with Quincyan Debbie Holtz during a kickoff event Saturday at the center. More than 250 participants registered for the 10-week fitness challenge to combat the obesity problem in Adams County. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
Phil Carlson 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 25, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Aug. 25, 2018 11:30 pm

QUINCY -- A line of Adams County residents stretched outside the Meadows meeting rooms Saturday morning at the Kroc Center, as they waited to sign up for the ACTION program.

About 30 minutes after registration started for the program, more than 100 people had already completed registration for the free program that seeks to motivate and educate residents in Adams County, where more than a third of residents are classified as obese, to live and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

More than 250 people registered for the ACTION program, which is an acronym for Adams County Initiative on Obesity Now, at a kickoff event Saturday at the Kroc Center.

Those in attendance received a review of the program before receiving a blood pressure screening and receiving a body composition analysis from NutritionHQ.

There were also booths from area organizations and businesses looking to support people in learning about active and healthy lifestyles. Some even sat in on a cooking demonstration from Hy-Vee, which included a healthy fried rice recipe.

"I think our main goal is to have people educated in how they can get healthier," said Kroc Center Marketing Manager Carolyn Carpenter. "We understand that everyone might not be overly successful, but as long as they are learning about health and taking that step putting themselves into action, that's what matters."

The program launched after a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in April showed that 37 percent of Adams County residents are categorized as obese, higher than the state average of 29 percent.

This makes residents more prone to diabetes, with nearly 14 percent of residents being diabetic. The state average is just under 10 percent.

"When we heard that we were the most obese county in Illinois, the Kroc Center decided that we had to do something," Carpenter said. "We realized that this could be really big, and we thought we needed to bring in the YMCA as well. We're community centers, and this is our community, and having that title, it's time to do something about it."

Participants will receive free access to the either the Kroc Center of the Quincy Family YMCA during the 10-week program, as long as they continue to meet the requirements of the program. This includes completing each week's workout on a punch card at least once and completing body measurements and check-ins during Weeks 5 and 10.

There are also free health seminars and access to information on fitness, wellness and nutrition.

It isn't too late to register for the ACTION program. Registration is available through Sept. 9 at the Kroc Center and the Quincy Family YMCA during normal operating hours. The program starts Sept. 10 and runs through Nov. 11, with a finale program set for 6 p.m. Nov. 16.

Anyone registering outside the kickoff event will need to visit NutritionHQ, 3712 Broadway, to have their body composition analysis completed, which is a requirement to participate in the program.