Anti-obesity effort paints the town purple

Anti-obesity effort paints the town purple
April 27
00:00 2013

Novant Health Maya Angelou Women’s Health & Wellness Center launched the Bright Ideas web site last week to engage Winston-Salem/Forsyth County residents in the center’s effort to reduce obesity.  The launch of the site will be accompanied by a week of events and activities that will literally “Turn the Town Purple” to raise awareness and enlist residents to share ideas on how to fight obesity.

“This is a first of its kind effort in our community to engage the hearts and minds of residents in helping to solve the most pressing health crisis of our generation,” said Kirsten Royster, Novant Health vice-president for cardiac and women’s services. “It’s not enough anymore for healthcare professionals to warn people about the life-threatening and debilitating consequences of obesity. This is a real crisis in our community, and it’s going to take all of us working together to find ways to reduce obesity and the effects it is having on our health and the health of our children.”

The Bright Ideas web site concept is simple. Periodically, a challenge question will be posted on the site encouraging individuals in the community to respond. Residents can post an original idea or participate in a discussion of ideas already posted.  The first challenge question is, “How can we bring mothers and daughters together to make healthier food choices?”

“There is no one solution that will address obesity because of its pervasiveness today,” Royster says. “So through the Bright Ideas web site and other activities, the Maya Angelou Center is going to tackle this one bite at a time, so to speak.”

Royster says that a variety of community activities and events are scheduled from April 19 to 27 to encourage residents to get involved. During the week, 50 iPads will be located across the community to introduce residents to Bright Ideas and allow them to offer ideas or comment on what has already been posted. iPad locations include Hanes Mall, selected YMCAs, area businesses, Novant Health physician practices and Winston-Salem City Hall.

Also, several prominent buildings and sites will be illuminated by purple lights this week, including Goodwill Industries, the Nissen Building and Novant Health practices.

“From school children planting purple vegetables in a community garden, to purple ribbons on trees, to lighting up the sky in purple, we are doing everything possible to make sure residents know that they can be part of making our community healthier,” Royster says. “We will look at every idea and incorporate those that can make a difference into Novant Health’s efforts to fight obesity.”

Go to the Bright Ideas web site,, for more information.

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