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How you can help Lighten Up East Texas

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TYLER (KYTX) - Obesity isn't just costing some people their health.  When you add it all up, we spend billions of dollars every year to treat obesity-related health conditions.  The Fit City Coalition is back with a weight loss challenge this year that kicked off yesterday at Tyler City Hall. They're not giving up the fight to get East Texas healthy.  Find out how easy it is to get involved, in this week's Fit City.

 A trip to Broadway Square Mall this Friday night or Saturday afternoon is all it takes to get started.  There are only 2 rules for Lighten Up East Texas this year.  You must be from East Texas and 18 years old.  What happens next in your journey to losing weight, is up to you, but remember, big prizes are on the line.

Brookshire Grocery Company started signing up employees for Lighten Up East Texas at their health fair this week.  It's one of many locations where people can weigh in and out.

"I do plan to take the challenge because after the first of the year.  I made the commitment, like the New Year's resolution to lose some weight.  So with Lighten Up East Texas coming along and the Fresh 15, I think this is a great time for me personally to get on board," says Rebecca Sanders with Brookshire Grocery Company.

Rebecca sanders says corporate wellness is a priority at Brookshire's today and everyday. Periodically they offer health fairs to their partners to help them keep track of their blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and body mass index.

"We do think it is very important corporately to give them the tools to maintain good health and encourage them to be a part of things like this," says Rebecca Sanders.

"We feel like we have gotten attention on the topic," says Dave Berry with the Tyler Paper & Fit City Coalition.  "Corporations are saying this is important for us as a company to care about our workers, to care about the people who work for us.  Healthier people do a better job."

Dave Berry with the Tyler Paper and the Fit City Coalition has two big goals for the 2014 Lighten Up East Texas Challenge.  He hopes 5,210 East Texans will sign up for a chance at a Dodge Dart from Allen Samuels and other prizes, and lose that much weight together.

"I know we are going to get a lot more people who come back and weigh in at the end. Even if they don't get the 5% we want them to weigh out because we are going to give away prizes to those who lose 3-4 percent," says Dave Berry, Tyler Paper & Fit City Coalition.

Dave says in the 5 years since the Fit City Coalition started their war on obesity, he's seen people's lives changed.

"I know it has made a difference. We want to get to a point where we can look at the data and tell East Texas has lost weight, or healthier than it used to be that we have fewer cases of diabetes or things kinds of things, but we don't have that data yet," says Berry.

But they're working on it.  What we do know is obesity rates are predicted to double by 2030 in Texas.  NET Health says that translates into higher incidences of diabetes, some cancers and cardiovascular disease.

The kick off to a healthier East Texas begins Friday, January 10th and Saturday January 11th. I'll be there at Broadway Square Mall too! 

If you are looking for additional weigh in locations to start your weight loss journey, click here for the weighing locations.

 

One of the Lighten Up East Texas sponsors, Brookshire's Grocery Company, is also offering a FRESH 15K. Click here for more information on signing up.

FRESH is also offering a running clinic on Saturday January 11th from 8:30-10 a.m. at Racquet and Jog on S. Broadway in Tyler.

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