"It Starts With the Heart" is a program WMAZ-TV in Macon, Ga., created six years ago to motivate viewers to adopt a healthier lifestyle. While high-fat diets and physical inactivity are threats to all Americans, these issues are of special concern to Georgians, who are often cited as being in the top third of the U.S. population for obesity. The campaign focuses on real challenges of people trying to make meaningful health changes. Thirteen community members are selected each year, and the station documents their personal journey to improved well-being. The group receives an intensive six-week dietary and exercise program from local health experts, and their progress and struggles are then broadcast during the next six months. The goal of the programming is to inspire viewers to take action to improve their own health. And 2000 people have by signing up for the stationís e-team, which provides weekly health tips and recipes. In 2007, the station raised additional awareness by hosting two days of special events centered on health education. The activities began with the inaugural "It Starts With the Heart" community walk and ended with a community health fair that provided vital screenings.
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