Weight loss challenge planned by new group

Members of a new wellness organization want local residents to start losing.

The members of the Healthy Webster County Coalition don’t want their neighbors to lose their keys, phones or money. But they do want to see people losing pounds and inches.

Dedicated to improving the wellbeing of county residents, the group plans to start by targeting the prevalence of physical inactivity and its accompanying problem of obesity.

During a Tuesday afternoon meeting at the Fort Dodge Public Library, members of the group began planning a weight loss challenge to be held this summer.

Kari Prescott, executive director of the Webster County Health Department, said the group’s vision is to make the county the healthiest one in Iowa.

”We’re working together as a community to address an important issue, which is the health and well-being of our community,” said Randy Kuhlman, the chief executive officer of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.

The group doesn’t have any money right now, but Prescott believes it can still accomplish things.

”We hope that this coalition will take the next step,” she said. ”The real goal is to have something going on every year to challenge our citizens to be healthy.”

Much of Tuesday’s session was devoted to zeroing in on an activity to launch the coalition’s work. The 11 members present settled on a weight loss challenge. The tentative plan calls for anyone participating in the challenge to weigh in during July. Participants will be weighed again near the end of September. Details will be worked out during the group’s June 25 meeting.

In addition to the Health Department and the Community Foundation and United Way, the Fort Dodge city government, Community and Family Resources, MIDAS Council of Governments, Hy-Vee and Trinity Regional Medical Center were represented at Tuesday’s meeting.