Public forums were held in Carroll, Holmes, Sunflower, and Leflore counties to allow community members to communicate ideas on why obesity is a struggle in their area. Four different questions were brought forth to the participants who discussed the query and expressed their thoughts and opinions. The four questions asked at each forum were:
- What are the programs, services, resources and other elements that encourage and support achieving and maintaining a healthy weight in your county?
- If you had 3 wishes what opportunities to support obesity prevention, currently lacking, are worth pursuing?
- How might obesity prevention best be promoted within the county?
- What are the main challenges to supporting the goal of reducing obesity?
From the answers received at each forum a better understanding was established of what helped and hindered the community from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
This dialogue also helped the participants become aware of what was important to them in their community and what they wanted to change. Community Action Groups (CAGS) were created after the initial forums by concerned citizens who want to establish a new way of thinking and lifestyle in their communities.