Oklahoma, the sixth fattest state according to last summer’s U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, has lost one million pounds. OKC Mayor Mick Cornett launched the “This City is Going on a Diet” campaign in 2008 in response to the city’s obesity epidemic. The Big Friendly had consistently been ranked as one of the fattest cities, so Cornett got proactive and hit the red-dirt road to spread the word. When he appeared on Ellen to promote the initiative, thousands of new citizens joined the cause.
The “This City is Going on a Diet” website provided several resources to aid citizens in their weight loss journey. Participants were able to track their weight, browse diets and workout regimens, view videos, and get tips from expert trainers and dietitians. (more…)
To add insult to injury- Oklahoma City/Tulsa showed up as the number one “junk food obsessed city” on a new Forbes list. Correct me if I’m wrong- but aren’t Taco Bell tacos junk food? Even if they are on a “healthier” menu?
I’m not trying to beat-up on Oklahoma City today. I love that city- I went to college at OU. It’s heartbreaking to see how poor the health is due to obesity, 27% of the population according to this Forbes report.
Also on the list:
3. San Antonio
9. Kansas City
13. New Orleans
While the Oklahoma City Mayor, Mick Cornett, is encouraging his city to lose a million pounds and get off the list of fattest cities in the US, there seem to be a lot of obstacles. Allowing Taco Bell to partner with the OKC Million Pound Challenge seems like one that could have been avoided. Oklahoma City should stand as an example for the many other cities it shares a place with on the obesity list.
What do you think about the cities on the list? Are weight loss efforts taking place in your own hometown? What do you think about Taco Bell partnering with OKC?
As the mayor of one of the country’s fattest cities, Mick Cornett is not taking this one sitting down. He appeared on Ellen’s show last week where he introduced the country to Oklahoma City’s million pound weight loss initiative- This City is Going On A Diet. They built a Web site of the same name where Oklahoma City citizens can create a free account, track their weight and find valuable resources to help them in their effort.
There is a generous list of weight loss programs, local trainers and nutritionists and other advice about eating right and staying active. Mayor Cornett explains that without the program and the site “We’d be doing a disservice to our citizenry by pretending the obesity epidemic is going away on its own. We have to change what we expect. This is something that we as a community can take on and turn around.”
Since launching This City is Going on a Diet January 1, Oklahoma City has lost more than 13,000 pounds. The goal is for the city to lose a million pounds- and unlike the Just Lose It Meridian campaign in Meridian, MS championed by fellow mayor John Robert Smith, Oklahoma City doesn’t have a deadline. “There’s no time limit on the program. As long as it’s working and successful- there’s no reason to stop it,” explains Mick.
In addition to putting the resources together to create this weight loss program, Oklahoma City also has 300 miles of new sidewalks planned and putting in nearly 50 new elementary gymnasiums. “We have to turn the culture to a community that places a high priority on healthcare, values young people and is more pedestrian friendly,” says Mick. What does Oklahoma City gain in return? The Mayor says “We gain a more energetic workforce and citizenry.”
While Oklahoma City tops the country in the most fast food restaurants per capita in the U.S. (a fact the Mayor places on being an auto-based community and the low price of land making it easy for companies to support their business model), it has no plans to put a moratorium on the opening of these restaurants.
The Mayor was headed out yesterday to Washington D.C. for the bi-annual Conference of Mayors. While the agenda is set in advance and no discussion about Oklahoma City’s or Meridian’s weight loss initiatives are slated, he imagines he’ll have an opportunity to share thoughts with Mayor John Robert Smith among others to compare notes and possibly encourage others to follow suit.
The Mayor seems to be traveling a lot- as he’s just back from his visit to Ellen in L.A. Of his visit with Ellen? “It was a lot of fun. I was so impressed by her talent.” He thought that compared to her, and what her audience is used to, he thought his topic was a little mundane. But apparently Ellen helped spread the word because OKC’s This City is Going on a Diet had 2,000 sign-ups that day alone.
As per usual with Ellen’s guests, everyone was anticipating a dance from Mayor Cornett. He got off easy since the host was sick that day, but he says “I was prepared if necessary, but not disappointed about not dancing.”
Thanks Mayor for visiting with us today- and good luck to Oklahoma City on shedding those pounds!
When Ellen De Generes learned that Oklahoma City was listed as one of the fattest cities in the nation, with a 28% obesity rate, she made one very simple and seemingly obvious suggestion to the city’s mayor to help the problem. “Wouldn’t it be fun if he was just asking them to move?” joked Ellen.
Fortunately for the citizens of Oklahoma City, Ellen’s plan of relocation will not go into effect. However, Mayor Mick Cornett’s plan will- a challenge to the city to lose one million pounds. January 1 the city launched its weight loss initiative “this city is going on a diet.” To date, those registered on the site have lost more than 9,000 pounds. It’s a long way from the one million pound goal, but one the mayor anxiously supports in both launching the challenge and making the city more exercise friendly. OKC has 300 miles of sidewalks planned and adding 47 new gyms to area grade schools. Before leaving, Mayor Cornett named Jan. 26 Ellen day in Oklahoma City.
Do you know who was also on Ellen today? Biggest Loser’s WHITE TEAM!! Neill and Amanda were part of what was shaping up to be a Sooner state day on the show. They were all smiles and looked fantastic! Neill’s lost 30 pounds since leaving the show, a total of 55, with 170 to go to meet his goal of 190. A lot of numbers in there, so keep up with me! Amanda has lost another 26 since leaving Biggest Loser, a total of 45, with 39 to go to meet her goal of a sexy-thin 120 pounds! They feel more successful than back at the ranch because it’s part of their daily routine, in their environment and it’s not as extreme. Plus, they have the support of their family. How about this? They continue to workout two to three hours each day. Great job guys!