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December 12th, 2012
03:21 PM ET

Memphis, America's most obese city, moving from fat to fit

By Katti Gray, Special to CNN

Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – Diagnosed last year with diabetes, the Rev. Dan Henley point-blank refused the medicine his physician initially suggested to regulate his out-of-whack blood sugar.

"When I got the diagnosis, I said 'I don't receive that.' My doctor said, 'I don't care if you receive or not, you've got diabetes. ... I'll give you 90 days to control it on your own," recounts Henley, 50, pastor of Journey Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

The city is home to more obese people than any other American city, according to the Gallup Well-Being Index.

At the start of that 90-day countdown, Henley, his two daughters and, marginally, his wife devised their own "biggest loser" contest. They nixed a whole slew of comparatively high-calorie, low-nutrient favorite foods from their grocery list, ramped up their exercise - and started talking, more candidly than ever, about how overconsumption of certain fare causes illness, injury and premature death.

"I used to have this slogan: 'I'm 280 pounds of cornbread-, collard green-eating man,'" says the 6-foot-2 Henley. "And the bigger I got, the more I laughed it off. Then, I got this wake-up call."

Now 27 pounds lighter than he was a year ago - and with his blood sugar levels now normal - Henley also is founder and lead facilitator of Church Developers Network, one in an arsenal of organizations immersed in a community-wide campaign to move Memphis out of that notorious No. 1 slot.

FULL STORY
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Women make gains in the workplace
Katharine Hope examines a baby cheetah at the National Zoo. About 50% of veterinarians are women, according to census data.
December 12th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Women make gains in the workplace

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – Dorothy Segal went to veterinary medicine school at a time when she was very much a minority. She remembers being one of two women who graduated in her class in 1943.

Now 96, Segal recalled what the dean of the Michigan State University veterinary school said to her at the time: "Go back to the kitchen."

Segal went on to have a successful practice, treating everything from birds to big cats in the circus.

They used to say treating animals was no job for a lady. So Segal never wore pants.

"I made myself feminine," she said.

Segal was a trailblazer for women in her profession. When she began practicing in 1944, there were about 55 women vets in America. She was part of the first real growth spurt in female vets, who multiplied after the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Gender • Who we are • Women