Stephen Nair
Staff Writer

The Healthy Living Expo extends a welcome to everyone for the third year at the Knoxville Convention Center this weekend.
The event, which runs Friday through Saturday, is a brainchild of producer Karen Ray and is held in conjunction with and with the support of the Knoxville county and city offices. It is especially designed to inform the public about weight loss and nutrition for a healthy and useful life. Considered the largest health show of its kind held locally, it has participation from title sponsor Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, as well as other medical and corporate sponsors, including Baptist Hospital and University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The pavilion has representation in booths from corporate giants like Comcast, The Rush fitness center and Weight Watchers. The show opens to a walking track directed by Tennessee Blue Cross/Blue Shield, with The Rush fitness training equipment and Weight Watchers representatives to give expert advice on weight loss and healthy living.
Chefs from Knoxville’s finest restaurants will be creating dishes and showing cooking ideas that can aid in losing weight and maintaining ideal body mass. Kroger grocery stores will provide nutritional foods to taste to promote healthy eating habits.
Linne Seymour, public relations and office manager for the Healthy Living Expo, said, “We had a turnout of about 12,000 people last year, and from the public response this year, we are expecting a record attendance.”
Corporate sponsorship also enables special programs that allow discount tickets for senior citizens from the Natural Health Foods Center. The booth reps give advice on a number of health-related subjects like employee health, and visitors can participate in various activities that inform and teach strategies for healthy living.
The Healthy Living Expo will be introducing a 1K new walk for runners, breast cancer survivors and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation supporters on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee walking track. “1K for Kay” is dedicated to Kay Meeks, mother of Healthy Living Expo producer Karen Ray. Meeks, who was an avid bridge player, past-president of the OMNI Women’s Club and was involved in many social and civic organizations, lost her battle with breast cancer in 2001, leaving behind two daughters.
The Saturday walk participants wearing a Susan G. Komen shirt from a previous race or any breast cancer shirt will receive free admission to the Expo at the door. Non-walkers attending the show and wearing the shirts on either Friday or Saturday will receive two tickets for the price of one.
The Healthy Living Expo will present two contestants from the hit television show, “The Biggest Losers.” Bobby Moore, a fire-fighter in Smyrna, Tennessee and Brian Starkey, who was raised in Knoxville but now lives in California, will provide their behind-the-scene stories of their incredible weight loss. Both contestants appeared on the 2006 season of “The Biggest Losers,” which was aired locally by the NBC affiliate, WBIR.
Talking to students on campus, Keith Gwathney, a senior in biochemical molecular biology, said, “I think the Healthy Living Expo is a great way to learn about ideal body weight and nutrition. Diabetes, cardiac problems and hyper-tension are all result of bad eating habits and nutrition.”