The proof is in the numbers, and the photos, and the smiles and the stories.
Healthy U has made a profound difference in the lives of the program’s “students,” Pettis County residents who committed themselves to make significant lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellness this year. The program, an initiative of the Blue Ribbon Committee’s Healthy Living Action Group, extended its reach beyond the dozen applicants selected to participate by launching activities such as Moving 101, a Saturday morning walk/jog/ride from the Katy Trail’s Clarendon Road trailhead, and monthly cooking demonstrations at Woods Supermarket featuring Healthy U students and their nutritionists offering flavorful, nutritious recipes with fewer calories.
As part of its community outreach efforts, Healthy U also has offered a community weight loss competition, which continues through the end of the year, and four of the program students along with HLAG chairwoman Sarah Nail led physical education and health classes on Monday at Smith-Cotton Junior High School, providing insight into proper nutrition and exercise.
Today’s Spotlight section features the nine-month update on the Healthy U students’ progress, and the statistics indicate the program clearly has been a success. The students have been asked regularly about their weight loss and fitness journey, and they have readily shared the tips and techniques that have helped them change for the better.
As the year draws to a close, and this year’s students move toward their graduation, HLAG has opened applications for another 12 Pettis County residents to have the opportunity to transform themselves through Healthy U. Applications are available at Bothwell Regional Health Center, Katy Trail Community Health, Pettis County Health Center, Pettis County Community Partnership and University of Missouri Extension. The application can also be found online at brhc.org or at facebook.com/HUPettisCounty.
Completed applications should be returned to the Bothwell Education Center by 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the contest is open to Pettis County residents who are at least 18 years old and who are willing to share their yearlong challenge with the public.
We encourage residents who are willing to commit to serious change to submit an application for Healthy U. The program’s benefits are real, both for those who are selected and for the people who love them.
Democrat Editor Bob Satnan is a student in the 2012 Healthy U program.