Winter Update


Mission Statement

"Creating a healthier Alabama through obesity reduction and prevention efforts."

Purpose Statement

"The Alabama Obesity Task Force works through collaboration, programs, policy and environmental changes to support and promote healthy lifestyles."

Welcome New Action for Healthy Kids Alabama State Coordinator

Grace Perry MA, RD, LD

Grace is a registered dietitian with experience in wellness, education, foodservice, and most recently and extensively, child nutrition. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion, both from The University of Alabama.

Grace possesses a passion for the health and wellness of children and has devoted much of her time and energy to seeing these passions be given the attention they so badly deserve in schools. She has spearheaded numerous initiatives throughout her professional career in an effort to see children’s health and wellness be put at the forefront of educational priority lists. These initiatives have included educating students on healthy eating and partnering with schools and school system leaders to effectively implement strong wellness policies. Grace is excited to further her efforts by joining Action for Healthy Kids and see the health and wellness of children across Alabama continue to improve.

In her free time, Grace enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and two young sons as well as cooking, running, and cheering on The University of Alabama on a fall Saturday.

Contact Grace for more information!

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Scale Back Alabama - 2017!

Scale Back Alabama (SBA) is a free, statewide weight-loss program for Alabama’s adults, ages 18 and older. Its primary focus is a competition held each year, starting in January, during which teams of two strive to lose 10 pounds each in order to be entered into a drawing for cash prizes.The program has been a tremendous success with more than 1.3 million pounds lost over the last 10 years.

Through weekly health tips, online resources and social media, Scale Back Alabama creates public awareness of the health issues caused by obesity and empowers Alabamians who are overweight and/or obese to implement healthier lifestyles … eating less and moving more.

The program’s initial focus was the workplace, but it quickly expanded into the community through churches, schools, and other organizations. And, even though it’s geared toward adults, Scale Back Alabama has positively impacted entire families.

Businesses who participate in programs such as SBA, may experience long term benefits such as increased employee productivity, decreased absenteeism, and decreased healthcare costs.


  • 8 week program

  • FREE!

  • The Scale Back Alabama Phone App for registrants (locates weigh-in sites, tracks nutrition, exercise, and sends health tips) is available for download on both the iPhone and Android! (click to download!)

  • Health tips and information provided all year long via the SBA app!

Scale Back Alabama is sponsored by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

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Got a New Year's Resolution?

Get Moving for You! The best thing about physical activity is that you can do it on your own terms. You get to choose how, where, and when you move. Physical activity is individualized. Get moving in a way that feels good to you–inside and out.

Alabama Farm to School Program

School Gardens are flourishing in Alabama! According to the Farm to School Census, Alabama is home to 46 school gardens and more are under-way. Monroe County Schools hosted a district-wide walkathon to raise money to fund new school gardens and keep existing gardens growing. Students got outside, stretched their legs, and walked one mile around Monroe City square. Students from Monroe County Technical School where excited to be a part of supporting their garden. One student mentioned she loved learning in the garden and was excited that her little sister was about go to school and she could learn in the garden too!

Alabama Farm to School partners, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Druid City Garden Project and EAT South urban farm are committed increasing interactive, hands-on learning using school gardens. EAT South in Montgomery hosts elementary school field trips where students learn about STEM topics by engaging with plants and chickens; and learning about compost. Druid City Garden Project develops school gardens and teaches students using school garden, standard-based curriculum that brings lessons to life! Students love selling their vegetables grown in the garden in the budding entrepreneurs program. Druid City Garden Project teamed up with Alabama State University to find students having 3 or more lessons in the garden had 6% lower body mass index, were more likely to try fruits and vegetables, had 20% less candy consumption, and had 31% less soda consumption.

Visit Alabama Farm To School's website, or check them out on Facebook for more information!

How Do Apples Grow?

How Does it Grow? Apples

Year in Review

2016 marked the launch of the statewide public awareness campaign, Get Moving Alabama, to increase physical activity opportunities, educate residents about physical activity benefits, provide relevant guidelines on physical activity, and identify and connect community resources. Here are some of the year’s biggest milestones for Get Moving Alabama:

Stories from Small Towns

Stories from Small Towns, a project of the National Physical Activity Society, demonstrates that structural changes to make walking easier can be carried out in America's thousands of small towns and not just its big cities. The project focuses on advice from towns that have made some changes, with the aim of inspiring town leaders across the country to see such infrastructure as possible and worthy.

Read the story on Eufaula, Alabama.

Experiences in Advocacy by Alethea Hill

Alethea Hill, PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC and Alabama Obesity Task Force member, received the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association's first ever Advocacy Award for CVD Prevention She recounts her experiences and shares her advice for how to get started with advocacy in this feature.

Universal Trail Access Information Project

Lakeshore Foundation, in partnership with the Alabama Trails Commission, was awarded a grant from the Recreational Trails Program funded by the U. S. Department of Transportation and a grant funded by the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation to conduct a pilot program at Alabama's Oak Mountain State Park. The pilot included the purchase of state of the art trail measurement technology, assessment of 32 miles of pedestrian trails, implementation of Trail Access Information signage throughout the park, and training of professionals and user groups on the Universal Trail Assessment Process. Now, Oak Mountain State Park features 40 signs that serve as nutritional labels for the trails, marking grade, elevation changes, width of pathways and surface hardness. People of all ability levels can use these signs to determine the accessibility of the trails and choose which will be best for their hike. The project will continue by training more Universal Trail Assessors to spread in to other trails and parks across the state.

Check out the video!

Universal Trail Access Information Project

Pelham Oaks Elementary School takes 2nd Place in “Inclusive Physical Education and Physical Activity Video Contest”

Pelham Oaks Elementary School (Pelham School System, AL) won the $750 2nd place prize in the 2016 Let’s Move Active Schools Inclusive Physical Education and Physical Activity Video Contest. U.S. schools were invited to create a short video demonstrating at least one physical education or physical activity best practice for meeting the needs of students with disabilities, ultimately create an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all students.

Check out their video submission!

Inclusive Class Design

Alliance for a Healthier Generation features Alabama Teacher as Health Hero

Watch as Patricia Maiden-Lewis, a science teacher from Robert C Hatch High School is featured as a health hero and physical activity champion in her school and district by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Patricia spoke at the December Obesity Task Force Meeting and her presentation can be downloaded here. She was also honored at the ASAHPERD Fall Conference as the first Champion of the Year for the Alabama Champions for Healthy, Active Schools initiative.

Who are the people behind America’s Healthiest Schools?

Statewide Wellness Forums

Wellness Forums are happening across our state!

Sponsored by Blue Cross blue Shield of Alabama, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society, the wellness forums are intended to bring wellness coordinators together for networking opportunities and to learn from experts working in model programs in the field of worksite wellness. They are held in various locations in the state every quarter.

Mark Your Calendar!

OTF Quarterly Meeting: February 9, 2017

Thursday, Feb. 9th, 9am-12pm

Ralph David Abernathy Hall – College of Education – Alabama State University

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Scale Back Alabama 2017

Weigh-out: March 15-22nd

Final Event & Cash Prize Drawings: April 5th

National Walk at Lunch Day Events

Hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium

Partnering with the City of Montgomery

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birmingham, Linn Park

Partnering with the City of Birmingham

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Huntsville, Big Springs East Park

Partnering with the City of Huntsville and Healthy Huntsville

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mobile, Bienville Square (locations TBD)

Partnering with Mobile United committee

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Calling all Current and New Members of the Alabama Obesity Task Force!

The strength of the Task Force comes from our members and the experiences they share. To help us maintain a membership data base and learn more about your interests, please complete this online membership survey (current and new members):

Membership is FREE!

The Alabama Obesity Task Force is a volunteer membership organization that addresses obesity through advocacy, changes, and programs.

Becoming a member comes with benefits which include:

  • Staying abreast of emerging nutrition and physical activity, lifestyle issues, and strategies that affect obesity
  • Strengthening leadership skills
  • Networking with peers, state, and community leaders
  • Influencing advocacy
  • Training opportunities
  • Collaborating with partners to make decisions

For more information on the Obesity Task Force, visit our website:

If you would like to be a part of the Task Force, please complete the online application form.

Get Social!

Be on the lookout for more exciting things happening across the state as part of the Get Moving Alabama Campaign. Be sure to follow us on social media and use #GetMovingAL to share with us!

This newsletter is a semi-annual publication of the Alabama Obesity Task Force. Content submissions will be accepted through May 1, 2017 for the next publication in June 2017 and can be sent to Lita Chatham at

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