CHERBOURG residents took the first steps towards a better lifestyle last Wednesday.
Community members took part in the Pop Kenny Diabetes Walk as part of International Diabetes Day.
More than 30 walkers proudly completed the 4.4km course, which started at Cherbourg State School and continued along Fisher St and Wondai Rd before returning to the Cherbourg Sporting Complex.
Cherbourg sport and recreation officer Neil Rose said the event was raising vital awareness about diabetes and promoting a healthier lifestyle for the people of Cherbourg.
"It is a big cause here in Cherbourg and from what I've been told 80% of the community have diabetes, which is far too high," he said.
"It's about a community fighting against a dreaded disease, and it's having the mindset that they can do something to fight against a disease that is affecting their community immensely."
Mr Rose said Wednesday's walk was the start of promoting a better lifestyle for Cherbourg residents.
"Too many have lost too many people at extremely young ages," he said.
"Cherbourg State School has started a healthy eating day today and has declared every Wednesday to be a fat-free day.
"And we're extending it to the community with a healthy eating program, which includes cooking and tips about healthy eating."
Cherbourg State School teacher Kenneth Day said the Diabetes Walk was an important event for the Cherbourg community.
"Obesity is a disease we all have to confront, and this is the first step towards trying to break the cycle," he said.
"Cherbourg had to have something like today's walk. It was time for something like this, and I hope other communities follow."
Mr Day said it was the first step towards long-term change for the town.
"It's the first step, and we need to take one step at a time to make it a long-term thing," he said.
"The years are going quick, and something has to be done, and we can't rely on other towns. We have to do it ourselves, and this is the first step."