Program at Baptist helping African American women

For African American women, the "step, step, step," of the Zumba instructor is the sound of change: A change in their eating habits, and lifestyle. It's being guided by the "Sister to Sister" program, a free 8 week offering from Baptist Community Outreach. Rachel White, a Baptist R.N. explain, "It's also a preventive measure to keep people healthy and up on their feet, and to move more, eat better, and feel better."

Nearly 4 of 5 African American women are overweight, or obese, the highest rates of any group in the country. The "Sister to Sister" program is working on whittling that number.

"At the end of the program, they get their post lab, cholesterol, blood sugar, height, weight, and BMI, to see if we've made a difference," said White.

Carolyn McKinstry underwent open heart surgery two years ago. She says, "I'm kind of just getting back being able to walk and exercise. So, this is one of the main reasons I enrolled in the class is because I needed the exercise."

She says she's lost 5 lbs since starting in April, and has told her neighbors and friends about the program.

"It can help me and a lot of other folks trying to get healthy and get fit for 2014," she said.

In addition to Zumba class, the "Sister to Sister" program also takes participants on a grocery store tour, to show them how to make better food decisions. The next class is July 7th at the Community Wellness Center at 2501 Main St. in Little Rock. Call 501-202-3333 for more information.