Program inspires healthy lifestyle in Tucker County

Maintain Don’t Gain attracts 73 participants By

Submitted photo Speaker and personal trainer Aaron Friedman, far right, speaks to the participants in the first Maintain Don’t Gain Celebration event hosted by the Tucker County Health Department and Davis Medical Center

PARSONS — The Tucker County Health Department and Davis Medical Center have inspired local citizens to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the first Maintain Don’t Gain program.

The program kicked off over the holidays, when Tucker County residents took an oath to lose or maintain the same weight from Thanksgiving until the New Year.

Out of the 73 participants who signed up, 41 completed the program and maintained or lost weight. Overall, 56 percent completed the program, officials said, and everyone combined lost more than 152.9 pounds.

The Tucker County Health Department and program organizers developed multiple ways to help participants lose or maintain their weight, including a website where participants could download healthy recipes, tips and tricks.

The Maintain Don’t Gain program hosted a healthy cooking class in December, featuring a variety of healthy options. Kim Ledden, one of the organizers, said the turnout was wonderful, with 33 participants in the demonstrations.

“We are so proud of the ones who participated!” Ledden said in a Facebook post on social media. “Everyone did a great job, just by signing up means you want to be a healthier you!”

Program organizers hope to expand their services to not only Parsons but also Davis, Thomas and Canaan. The group also is looking to create children’s groups and monthly groups, as well as develop other programs that inspire a healthy lifestyle.

Dianna Patella, director of population health and one of the program organizers, stressed the urgency for people to take action and live a healthy lifestyle.

“Our population is obese and many are at risk for developing diabetes,” Patella said. “Many of these things could be prevented with good nutrition and weight loss.”

Another upcoming healthy initiative is the Love Your Heart event for the month of February, which will be presented by the Tucker County Health Department, Davis Medical Center and the West Virginia University Tucker County Extension Office.

Community members will learn more about heart health and be able to have blood pressure, glucose and weight screenings. The event is set for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Tucker County Senior Center. Registration for the event is required by Feb. 17 by calling the Tucker County Health Department at 304-478-2949, ext. 209.

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