The Get Healthy CT weight loss kick-off event took place Friday, January 10th at Cornell Scott Hill Health Center in New Haven. The signature event is an annual “Biggest Loser” challenge run by the staff at CSHHC.
According to Jill Meyerhoff, Community Health Promotion Specialist at CSHHC, this is the third year of the weight loss challenge and many of the participants continue on after the Biggest Loser challenge has ended because the program is easy to follow and is accessible to patients, staff and the community. The challenge is based on MyPlate, the CDC’s program for nutritional eating, and Let’s Move, First Lady Michelle Obama’s physical activity program. As part of the challenge, neighborhood walking groups are formed which are listed on the Get Healthy CT website, gethealthyct.org. Meyerhoff also says that community outreach and education are important components to the success of this initiative in that Get Healthy CT is partnering together with other organizations, such as CSHHC, Chapel Haven, Yale University, and Yale New Haven Hospital, among others, to build a stronger New Haven.
In fact, building partnerships is a main focus of the Get Healthy CT program which started in Bridgeport and is now being rolled out in New Haven. Jon Atherton of the Yale School of Public Health feels that the weight loss challenge is the way in to the Get Healthy CT program for many people but all of the services and resources listed on the website, most of which are free, are under utilized and so the greater goal is to draw people’s attention to the bigger picture of all the free resources New Haven has available to the community.
During the Weight Loss Challenge kick-off, Mayor Harp made several inspiring points, among them she mentioned that she has participated in the challenge for the last three years and plans on participating this year. She also made a point to talk about New Haven as a walkable city full of sidewalks, parks, shopping and other amenities.
Get Healthy CT is challenging the residents of New Haven to lose 375,000 pounds this year in honor of the city’s 375th anniversary. Anyone can join and donate their weight loss to the New Haven weight loss counter which can be seen at the top of the Get Healthy CT website homepage.