The goal of the state Department of Community Health campaign is to combat obesity and cut costs related to obesity. Participants in the MI Healthier Tomorrow campaign are asked to pledge that they'll lose 10 percent of their body weight.
So far, more than 5,000 Michiganders have pledged to change their bodies.
To make the pledge, click here.
While 31.7 percent of Michigan residents are obese, 25.8 percent of Ottawa County residents are considered obese. And while 35.1 percent of residents statewide are overweight, a higher percentage (36.7) of Ottawa County residents are overweight, based on the Greater Ottawa County United Way 2012 Community Assessment.
Losing weight not only impacts a person's health positively, it also means saving money that would've been spent on obesity-related health costs, said Angela Minicuci, a public information officer for the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Click the Related File at the bottom of this story to download the brochure about obesity and overweight facts in Michigan.
In 2008, about $3.1 billion was spent on obesity-related medical costs in Michigan. Minicuci said reducing the number of obese citizens by 10 percent could reduce related medical costs by about $357 million.
Minicuci said chronic illnesses and the cost of care are starting to catch up on us.
“We really need to make this change today,” she said.
Participants who provide a mailing address to the campaign will receive a free kit that includes a supermarket survival guide, food journal and magnets for reminders. Participants who supply their e-mail address and phone number can also receive motivational messages each month to help them stay on track.
Michelle Bailey, the Tri-Cities Family YMCA's fitness and program director, said they have programs available for Tri-Cities-area residents looking to lose weight. She said their Losing to Win program promotes reducing body fat while increasing muscle mass.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.