Susie Stout logs more than 10,000 steps each day
A new study shows Tennesseans are losing weight.
A researcher at Vanderbilt University compiled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 1997 through 2011.
It shows the percentage of overweight Tennesseans peaked at 69 percent in 2009 and dropped to 66.5 percent last year. The percentage of obese Tennesseans peaked at just below 33 percent in 2009 and dropped to about 29 percent last year.
In Knox County, health officials say there is still work to be done.
"The good news is we have some positives, but we have a long way to go still," said Michelle Moyers, who runs the Healthy Weight Program at the Knox County Health Department.
"I think the good thing is we've been lucky enough to be recipient of some grant funding to help us with some programming to address those risk factors in the community and to help us move that marble even further," she said.
Those efforts include better nutrition for children and targeting high-risk areas within the county where obesity and other health issues are high.
Knox County Schools have also seen improving obesity numbers among students. During the 2011-2012 school year, 17.9 percent of students were obese. That is down from 20.3 percent during the 2009-2010 school year.
Susie Stout is an avid walker, logs around 10,000 to 12,000 steps each day.
"It's a good way to get out and get moving, cleans mind out too - not just body," she said.
A few years ago, Stout decided she was ready to lose weight, and get back in shape.
"I had a couple [of] kids, never really lost the weight and got back in the shape I was in before that. [I was] very busy, worked full time," she said, listing the challenges to getting healthy.
"I started walking, working out, eating right and I feel great."
She encourages others to take that first step to health, no matter their age or exercise ability.