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Health Zone One Residents Urged to Get Moving, Eat Healthy

6:37 PM, Dec 3, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  There's a push to bring changes to an area of Jacksonville known as Health Zone 1.

"The health department breaks everything down by zone.  Health zone one has one of the highest obesity rates," said "I'm a STAR" founder Betty Burney.

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Duval County is separated into several zones. Zone 1 has the highest number of people living below poverty and the highest mortality rates for heart disease and diabetes.

"They're not eating the fresh fruits, eating the fresh vegetables and in this area, we don't have any markets that have fresh fruits and vegetables," said Burney.

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Burney is hoping to turn things around with her "I'm A Star" program.  In the heart of Zone 1, an education and empowerment event was held to get residents moving and thinking more.

"We're just trying to show health zone one how to get healthy, how to eat healthy, how to dance and move so they can stay healthy and start the year off right,"  said Burney.

Duval County students are helping to lead by example. They've been meeting with health leaders to come up with ways to get people healthy, especially other students.

"Affects education, how they are at school, at home. It affects a lot of different things," said Jeff O'Brien, Sandalwood student.

"You could have the possibility of having high cholesterol or becoming obese because a lot of children these days, that's what's happening to them," said Corina Cain, A.P. Randolph student.

At the "Let's Move Jacksonville"  block party Saturday near Edward Waters College, people were encouraged to pick up a ball, a jump rope or even a hula hoop to make a change.
Free fruits and vegetables were also given out. Organizers hope it all makes a difference.

"The main thing I want people to walk away with is, whether you're 1 or 100, you've got to stay active.  You've got to take care of yourselves," said Burney.

It's advice that can be adhered to no matter what zone you live in.  Health Zone 1 consists of zip codes 32202, 32204, 32206, 32208, 32209 and 32254.

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