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FOR RELEASE: October 1, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Businesses Join Efforts to Improve Health of Oklahomans
McDonald’s and Weight Watchers Help Walk This Weigh Oklahoma

Looking for ways to help improve one’s overall health is a major concern for everyone. There is just one small problem. Changing your lifestyle to improve your health can be a very difficult thing to do.

The Oklahoma Turning Point Council and its more than 1,000 partners statewide are joining the Oklahoma State Department of Health and other health advocates in an effort to help Oklahomans obtain a healthy weight. The result is a statewide health initiative called Walk this Weigh Oklahoma! that will kick off with community walking events scheduled throughout the state on Thursday, Oct. 2.

The basic health message is to encourage Oklahomans to walk at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week, reduce fat intake by one to three percent and enjoy a healthier life.

McDonald’s restaurants will join efforts scheduled in 19 pilot communities, with a plan to expand their involvement as the project grows statewide. For the Oct. 2 events, McDonald’s is providing:

  • pedometers/stepometers for participants at each of the pilot sites,
  • printing for Passports to Health for participants to track their progress at each of the pilot sites,
  • coupons for a Premium Salad for all participants to enjoy, and
  • bottled water for ALL walkers at the kick-off sites.

McDonald's Oklahoma restaurants have long been supporters of healthy lifestyles and are proud to collaborate with health advocates and Oklahoma’s many Turning Point partners on various programs to encourage Oklahomans to pursue healthy, active lifestyles.

An additional sponsor, Weight Watchers, has announced that they will also provide pedometers, T-shirts, and other incentive items for walkers for the Walk This Weigh Oklahoma campaign.

The pilot communities actively participating are Norman, Jackson County, Cherokee County, Bristow, Eufaula, Kingfisher, Muskogee, Choctaw County, and The Choctaw Nation and its 10 county areas.

The poor health status of Oklahomans led to the adoption of the pilot initiative as a way to help improve the health and quality of life. Some of the bleak health facts are:

  • U.S. adult obesity rates have risen drastically in the last decade from 12 percent to 20 percent.
  • In Oklahoma, approximately 43 percent of the adults report no leisure time physical activity.
  • Thirteen percent of children and adolescents are now overweight or obese, which represents more than a doubling in the last 30 years.
  • Almost 80 percent of Oklahomans are eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

For information about Walk This Weigh Oklahoma or to see what your community is planning, call your local county health department or visit the OTPC website at http://www.otpc.org.

Walk This Weigh Oklahoma
Statewide Schedule of Events

Oklahoma County -- Walk This Weigh Oklahoma -“Walk for Health” -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health and Oklahoma Turning Point Council will kick off October 2 with a walk from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. from the OU Health Sciences Center to the State Capitol.

Norman - Kickoff event will be on October 2 at 12:15 p.m. at Andrews Park. The community will focus on worksite health initiatives and family events that promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Jackson County - Kick off event is October 2 from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Altus Community Center and Reservoir. Miss Oklahoma, Kelly Scott, will be on hand as local businesses weigh-in for the Team Challenge.

Cherokee County - Kick off event is October 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the NSU Beta Field. Participants will be walking the one-mile route through Main Street to the Cherokee County Court House.

Bristow - Kick off is October 2 at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street. Participants will sign up to walk the number of steps that would allow them to reach different destinations in the world.

Eufaula - The Community Garden is the yearlong focus on healthy food choices aimed at reducing obesity rates in the community. The Creek Nation is working in several schools with the Route 66 curriculum and promoting jump rope as an alternative exercise for youth.

Kingfisher - The community is focusing on smart growth strategies that will allow for continuation of the master trails plan to provide facilities for every citizen in the community.

Muskogee - Kick off at Arrowhead Mall 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with booths, businesses and various demonstrations on exercise, nutrition and walking programs and the schools are participating in the Route 66 curriculum.

Choctaw County - One-mile walk from Choctaw Memorial Hospital to the Choctaw County Agriplex from 9 am - 12 pm on Oct. 2. The hospital will be providing health screenings. Healthy snacks will be provided to participants along the way.

Choctaw Nation - Target groups include: Employees of the Choctaw Nation, Health Care Center, Jones Academy, Choctaw Nation Basketball Camps, Choctaw Nation Youth Summer Wellness Camps, Antlers Community, and Choctaw Nation Tribal Members. The Nation will implement “Employee Wellness/Fitness Program” via a virtual Trail of Tears walk.



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