City firm tries to halt 'expansion'

Wednesday, January 16th 2008, 1:11 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther, INsite Team 

Like many Americans, Tracy Thompson has tried a lot of diets. 

"I've tried Tan and Tone, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, the Mayo clinic diet," she said. "I've tried everything."

Tracy's employer, Larry Coffman, admits, he's got some overweight employees, but he also admits that he's a little overweight himself, and he wants to change that.

"We have some really hefty people," Coffman said. "I really have to admit, they really tip the scales."

Coffman, who owns Hometown Health, said he knows the benefits of employing healthier workers.

"You get employees that are able to function better, they're living better, their life expectancy improves, less sick time off so I really see it as a win win for everyone," he said

Mayor Mick Cornett wants all of us to win the weight-loss battle this year, and he's got a very ambitious plan. In case you didn't know, the Mayor has put you on a diet, in hopes that the entire city will lose a total of one million pounds. You might also not know just how unhealthy Oklahoma is. According to Men's Health, Self magazine and, Oklahoma City is one of the unhealthiest cities in the country.

"Obesity takes place everywhere throughout the United States, but finally this is a city that's doing something about it," Cornett said. "This is a city that's serious."

The anticipated one million-pound weight loss will be tracked on the Web site, So far, more than 9,000 people have signed up and lost several tons of weight.

"It's always easier to do something that's difficult to do, when other people do it with you," Cornett said. "I think this has provided the sort of support group that a lot of people are looking for."

The mayor's initiative inspired Coffman and about 40 of his employees to sign up and track thier progress on the Web site. But Larry took the program several steps further. He started a weight-loss contest among his employees and put exercise equipment in all seven of his offices. Whoever loses the highest perentage of weight in 12 weeks wins a laptop computer.

"Here (at work) it's kind of easier when everybody is on the same diet so you're not tempted to eat fast food or something sweet like everybody used to bring," Thompson said.

The INSite team plans to check in from time to time with Larry and see how his employees are doing. Keep checking for updates.