Montgomery may be making big strides in the battle against obesity. Numbers say obesity rates for the area are down almost four percent in just two years.
Last year Melanie Allen was diagnosed with diabetes.
"I was real tired and fatigued," said Allen, who also educates families about healthy lifestyles.
The solution? Her doctor told her to lose weight. Now 35 pounds later she's off medication and says her health is in a much better state.
"Once I got the diabetes under control, my cholesterol and the other things came under control and I could come off medicines," said Allen.
There are some positive signs that the entire Montgomery metro area may be following suit.
"Two years ago we had the distinction for being tied for having the highest obesity rate in the country, 34.6 percent of us in the Montgomery metro area were obese," said Michael Briddell, "Now we are down to 30.9 percent. We are not the worst in the country, not even the worst in the state."
Bridell was one of the 360,000 adult Americans interviewed in the Gallup study and the responses from those in Montgomery, Lowndes, Elmore, and Autagua counties landed our region in the top spot. In just two years, he says, we've dropped to number 20, which means there are 13,000 people in our communities who no longer fall into the obese category.
"I'm enjoying the weather and getting some good exercise. I'm 59 and need to stay in shape," said Montgomery resident, Yvonne Woods.
Events like the Montgomery half marathon and dragon boat races have all been put in place to encourage physical activity.
Briddell says Mayor Todd Strange worked fast to start up new initiatives. The River Region Obesity Task Force is one that has been working in communities to promote a healthier lifestyle.
"He wanted us to protect our reputation. He wanted to save lives and eliminate some suffering and make us more favorably viewed by the national business community," said Briddell.
Obesity doesn't only affect our health, but high obesity rates isn't attractive to potential employers. The state employee insurance board conducted a study that determined health care costs for someone who is obese costs $1700 more than for someone who isn't.