Study shows more Tennesseans getting healthier

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- A new study shows Tennesseans are spending less time on the couch, and more time being active.

According to a study by the United Health Foundation, the state ranks 35th for obesity among adults. Last year, it ranked 41st.

Tara Davis is a mother, career woman and model who chose to live a healthier life. The decision came after losing two people due to health issues.

She first lost her brother in 2005. Cecil Thompson, 38, weighed more than 700 pounds when he underwent gastro bypass surgery. He died a few days later.

"After his surgery, his organs just couldn't take it," Davis said. "He had so much life and so much more life to live. His body just couldn't keep up with him. That's what makes me the saddest."

That was the first time Davis said she began to look at her weight.

But she really made the change when her mother died of a heart attack a few years later.

"I told my husband it can't be me I can't leave my kids," said the mother of two. "I want to be healthy. I want to be an example for my daughters."

Davis lost 120 pounds and is now a size six-- a mission she said wasn't easy.

She told Local 8 News she still sees the same person in the mirror, just healthier and more active.

"If you want to live life, you'll have to live in the most healthy way you can," Davis said.

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