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Washington Co. health challenge winds down

November 05, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

A health program that challenged 800 Tri-State residents to eat better and exercise will come to an end Sunday, Nov. 11.

The Health for Every Body Challenge, which began Oct. 1, will host a wrap-up event at Valley Mall on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Participants signed up for the free program and formed teams with between four and 10 people with the hopes of improving their health.

Each week, participants earned points for consuming U.S. federal dietary serving recommendations for fruits and vegetables. They also earned points for drinking water and engaging in physical activity, said Sharee O'Haver, spokeswoman for Nutrition and Physical Activity Partnership of Washington County and membership director at the Hagerstown branch of the YMCA.

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The team with the most points each week is awarded prizes. The overall winning team will receive a bigger prize Saturday at the mall.

Nutrition and Physical Activity Partnership of Washington County, known as NAPA, is responsible for the challenge.

NAPA is a coalition of 20 community organizations, including the Washington County Health Department, Washington County Hospital and YMCA, O'Haver said.

The Health for Every Body Challenge is part of the group's broader attack against obesity in Washington County, organizers say. The campaign endorses the idea that anyone can reduce the risk of poor health by eating more fruits and veggies, engaging in more physical activity and drinking more water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity has increased since the mid-1970s.

Nina Dutrow, 56, of Mercersburg, Pa., is the team captain for the Bottoms Up Gang, a group of Endoscopy Center at Robinwood employees who joined because they wanted to lose weight.

"When you sit at a desk all day, you have to get up and move more," said Dutrow, who is a receptionist at the endoscopy center. She said she lost 15 pounds since she started the challenge and now weighs 197. As of Friday afternoon, her team was in second place, O'Haver said.

"I'm one that doesn't drink water and I'm not a big fruit eater - vegetables, I don't have a problem with," she said. "But I'm the team captain. I have to set the example."




If you go ...



WHAT: Health for Every Body Challenge wrap up event

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17

WHERE: Valley Mall, Halfway

COST: Free

MORE: For more information, visit the Nutrition and Physical Activity Partnership of Washington County's Web site, www.healthywashcomd.com.

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