Can the American South go from being the worst region nutritionally to the best? One determined cookbook author and food entrepreneur, Wiley Mullins firmly believes that it can! His goal is to reverse the escalating trends of overweight and obesity that has plagued the south. According to Mullins, “it’s all about changing the culture.” The southern heritage is steeped in wonderful traditions including a deliciously rich food culture that has evolved through the years. For almost two decades, Mullins has carried the Wellness torch to those who love the decadence of southern fare. He often comments, “Wellness Is Within Reach! The Supermarket’s Fresh Produce Department is an all natural wellness center at your finger tips.”
Recently released data from The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) confirm that 65% of the adult residents of the southern states are either obese or severely overweight. Although these levels are alarming, they are by no means limited to just the south. According to this same CDC report, the state of Colorado was considered to be the healthiest state yet almost 56% of Colorado’s adult population is either overweight or obese, confirming that there isn’t much wiggle room between best or worst states nutritionally. Mullins is convinced by the CDC’s Study that proves that consuming 5 or more servings of fresh produce lessens the likelihood of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.
To draw instant attention to the severity of the health and lifestyle issues surrounding the huge overweight and obesity problem, a roll out of a targeted wellness campaign called SOS (Saving Our South) occurs this summer throughout the southern U.S. with the clear intention of introducing clear and tasty ways to enjoy some traditional favorites without consuming unnecessary fat, calories or cholesterol.
SOS initially launches in Birmingham, Alabama in mid June with a fanfare that’s certain to generate interest. Highlights include the following: Free entrée salads to passerby’s in Birmingham’s busy downturn during the lunch hour; on the day of the rollout, A Wellness March through Birmingham’s historic Civil Rights district reinforcing the importance of daily exercise, A book signing highlighting leading authorities on diet, nutrition and health; A medical roundtable including diverse opinions on diet and nutrition from Birmingham’s renowned medical community, and the placement of Birmingham’s farmer market in ethnic neighborhoods and housing projects to encourage and increase the consumption of fresh produce.
According to Mullins, “fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamins, minerals and fiber the body needs to stay fit and well. Vitamin capsules and pills do not offer the disease-fighting protection that you get from eating whole fruits and vegetables. People just need a little education on the goodness of fresh produce. The goal of the SOS initiative is to do just that!” For More information log onto