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Poor health rating prompts Kiowa Co. Fitness Challenge

Published: Jan. 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM CST
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KIOWA COUNTY, Okla. – Kiowa County Health Officials are giving residents 90 days to shape up.  Today was the first day of the Kiowa County Weight Loss Challenge; the first of its kind for the county.

It is all because residents are not as healthy as they should be, according to a recent online state health analysis.  The analysis ranked all 77 counties in the state in terms of overall health.  Kiowa County came in 61st.

It was a great turnout for the weight loss challenge.  The crowd was eager to find out what they need to do to get healthy in the new year and, most importantly, for themselves.

Blood pressure check. Cholesterol check.  Weigh-in.  Kiowa County residents willingly got poked and prodded today, all in the name of health.  Resident Arlene Millermon is ready to get healthy.  She says diabetes took the life of both of her parents.  And today, she found out she too is borderline diabetic.

"I'm trying to teach our granddaughter exercise, not to go back for seconds, and drink plenty of water," said Millermon.

It is vital to her because she has just assumed the role of guardian to her 14-year-old granddaughter.

Brenda Medlock is an extension educator for the Kiowa County OSU Cooperative Extension.  She says Millermon's diagnosis is all too common.

"Kiowa County ranks high in diabetes and people that have diabetes and we want to make a difference and help them find out about how to control diabetes," said Medlock.

Residents will now take all the information gathered today to their doctors.  From there, they will learn what they need to do to get a clean bill of health.

"We need to make a difference, show people this is a great place to live and a healthy place to live too," said Medlock.

The challenge starts today and runs until March 31.  The program's goal is for the county to lose a total of 1,000 lbs in that 90 days.

This challenge is similar to one that just wrapped up yesterday in Oklahoma City.  Their goal was to lose 1-million pounds, and Mayor Mick Cornett said nearly 50,000 residents combined to reach that goal during the past four years.  The mayor himself lost 37 pounds.