ASU student takes on huge community project, tries to make a difference

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Rod White used to play minor league baseball. Today, he's taking another swing. This time at a heavier matter; obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

"There's no other way to put it; we're the fattest city in the nation," said White citing a recent survey indicating Montgomery was actually tied with Stockton, California, as the fattest cities in the country.

White is organizing the local 'Let's Move The River Region' campaign. Initially started by America's First Lady Michelle Obama, the goal is to get Americans off the couch, away from the computer and exercise.

At a news conference earlier this week at Alabama State University, White talked about a disturbing trend.. just in Alabama.

"We are now in the 30% percentile in terms of obesity," White said.

That's a drastic jump since 1989.

On Saturday the 'Let's Move The River Region' takes off. 6 counties are participating. In those counties there will be around 60 places or pods such as the YMCAs where people can learn all they need to know about nutrition and exercise. There's a walk scheduled at the Dexter Avenue Fountain.

"It's all designed to be family fun. They'll walk up to the capitol steps," said White.

Not exactly a marathon in the works but more of a catalyst for change... at least that is White's goal. He hopes some 70,000 will turn out but concedes that figure may be much lower.

"If we can get around 10,000 in the 6 counties, then I think we will have made a difference," said White.

Rod White himself knows the danger of letting your health slip away. By his own admission he added another 50 pounds or so when his playing days ended. He works out now thanks to some tough love from his doctor.

"He said I was on the verge of having blood pressure issues," said White.

Rod White, one man who made a difference by taking charge of his own life. He hopes others will do the same.