New state plan proposes to fight obesity

Wednesday, September 24th 2008, 4:49 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- There is now a new push to fight obesity in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's obesity rate is the eighth highest in the country for adults and the sixth highest for high school students.

A new state plan and a special guest are now trying to change Oklahoma.

The goal is to improve the statistics so Oklahoma's not always on the bottom when it comes to health. One group everyone is focusing on is children.

"When you're trying to change the culture of a community to place a higher priority on their health, it's smart to start with the children," Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said.

Hundreds of elementary students spend the day at Oklahoma City University learning about healthy lifestyles.

"If people want you to be healthy, you should think of yourself and be healthy," fifth-grader Eric Liggins said.

The kids even heard from a special guest.

Jared Fogle made famous by Subway sandwich commercials, talks about how he tipped the scales at 425 pounds.

"I want to make sure you guys can learn from my mistakes and learn what not to do as you guys start to grow up here," Fogle said.

This push comes the same day as a big announcement at the State Capitol.

"We will not be 48th to 50th in this country in every major health statistic, we simply will not tolerate it," Stan Hupfeld with the OK Fit Kid Coalition said.

The state unveiled its Get Fit Eat Smart Plan. The goal is to make healthy eating and physical activity available for all Oklahomans at school, work and in the community.

"There's nothing easy about this," Michael Crutcher, Oklahoma Secretary of Health, said. "This is a long-term effort that takes thousands of people pulling on that rope to get us where we need to be."

Combine the state plan with the Mayor's, where people have already lost 175,000 pounds, and Oklahoma seems to be on the right track.

"I sense that we've already changed the focus of this community," Mayor Cornett said. "This community places a higher standard on its health then it ever has before."

Really, all these programs want is for people to eat better and move around more so we can all live healthier lives.

Read Get Fit Eat Smart plan.