Black Girls Run to take back their health

Black Girls Run! Yes, believe it or not they do, and now more than ever.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Black Girls Run! Yes, believe it or not they do, and now more than ever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of African-American women are overweight. Do the math; and that translates into about four out of every five.

"It's the same for South Carolina, the numbers are high," says Shalama Jackson, a runner and kickstarter of Black Girls Run! Columbia.

Shalama is one of hundreds in Columbia who have joined the national movement: Black Girls Run!

"Its not a diet, its not a fad, its something to change your lifestyle completely," says Jackson.

Black Girls Run! was created by two friends three years ago. It was first started as a blog to start a conversation that's now taken off into a major movement.

"So many of us especially are overweight," says Columbia runner, Eureka Robertson. "And really anything that you can try, anything that you can do to improve on that, whether dietary, anything with exercise, anything that's gonna help."

Jackson says, "We are coming together and its fun. Like, I know most people think, like get up in the morning go run three miles? Or sometimes we have eight or sometimes we have nine, that's fun? But when you do it together as a group its a lot of fun and laughter."

As the word spreads, more and more runners are joining the Black Girls Run! family.

A Facebook page for the Columbia group sends out alerts about different runs throughout the week.

"Black Girls Run! Columbia, there's about 600 of us," says Jackson. "We're very encouraging, we're not gonna nit pick. If it's just to walk three days a week, then come out and walk."

Robertson says, "We've got people that are from different areas, some people are starting off walking, some running. We've got somebody that 's getting ready to compete and do a first marathon. So we've got really a lot of levels but everybody is extremely supportive. We hold each other accountable, you know, so we don't slack off."