Healthy Huntsville 2012 kicked off at HudsonAlpha last month with Mayor Tommy Battle announcing the initiative at a press conference. Healthy Huntsville was designed to raise awareness about obesity and type 2 diabetes and is a collaborative effort between the City of Huntsville, HudsonAlpha, Huntsville Hospital, Star Market, Fleet Feet, the Links, Sterling Health, the Huntsville Times and Regions Bank.

Through free community events, such as healthy cooking demos from Star Market, nutrition seminars from Huntsville Hospital and fitness training from Fleet Feet, Healthy Huntsville is making positive changes in lives across Madison County where more than 30 percent of adults are obese.

Deloris and Brian Horton, a husband and wife team working at HudsonAlpha, have incorporated what they have learned into their everyday lives. “We are eating more fruits and vegetables now,” said Deloris. “And it’s not just us. We see other people around work, the neighborhood and even at church making better choices.”

The couple is also participating in Scale Back Alabama, a statewide weight-loss prevention program. Together they have lost more than 18 pounds.

The Hortons aren’t alone. Kathy Rader, executive assistant to HudsonAlpha President and Director Rick Myers, has helped her husband, 10-year-old daughter and two-year-old son become healthier, too.

“Jason and I both have a family history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease so that was a concern,” said Kathy. “We knew we really needed to adopt healthier lifestyles and this initiative was the jump-start we needed.”

The Raders thought Scale Back Alabama would be a nice complement to Healthy Huntsville. They have lost more than 20 pounds together over the past month.

“Anytime you have a community come together for a great cause like this, it is inspiring,” said Kathy. “It also helps to have others around you who are eating healthier and exercising more.

Check out the Healthy Huntsville website for more on the initiative, as well as a complete schedule of events from Presenting and Participating Partners. Be sure to register for the Double Helix Dash on April 10 at 5:30pm. The 5K and 1-mile Twilight Run will be the first in McMillian Park, winding along the unique double helix path, as well as other parts of Cummings Research Park.