Mission Meltaway Is On It's "Weigh" In Broome County

BINGHAMTON, NY - The Broome County Health Department’s Steps to a HealthierNY initiative is on a “mission” to reduce obesity and diabetes in our community by providing residents with an opportunity to enroll in a free healthy weight education program called Mission Meltaway. The FREE, 8-week program will start on Thursday, June 1, at the Broome County Health Department, 225 Front Street, Binghamton. The class will be held weekly from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday evenings through July 27th.

Mission Meltaway, nationally recognized and originally founded by the Broome County Office for Aging, is an eight-week healthy weight management education session with a group approach to weight loss. In one representative Mission Meltaway session 91 of the 100 participants lost weight after the 4-week “jump start” program. Sixty-five percent increased their physical activity levels, and 100 percent increased their knowledge of good nutrition and exercise.

The eight-week program will incorporate diabetes prevention strategies related to improved nutrition and increased physical activity to initiate and reinforce lifestyle changes. Group supported meetings will cover a range of topics including menu planning, nutrition, physical activity, and mental health. There will be opportunities to: enroll in BC Walks, participate in the “Give Me 5” fruit and vegetable awareness campaign, listen to a host of expert speakers, and receive incentives, such as pedometers. Steps partners will be providing free services to participants enrolled in the program as well. The Broome County YMCA will be offering free eight-week memberships, and the Central New York Kidney Foundation will provide all participants with a comparison of “before and after” physical assessments such as blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), hip to waist ratio and weight.

“Chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease that are prompted by obesity are crippling us both medically and financially,” says Mary McFadden, Supervising Public Health Educator for the Broome County Health Department. National costs associated with treating obesity have recently been recorded at approximately $117 million dollars, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The mental and physical costs associated with overweight and obese individuals affect every part of our society. “We need to take personal and social responsibility for our own health and that of our community,” says McFadden. “Mission Meltaway is just one of several intervention strategies in the Steps to a Healthier New York initiative related to reducing the burden of obesity and diabetes,” McFadden concluded.

For more information on how county residents can enroll in Mission Meltaway, contact Ann Lomonaco at 607.778.3067.

Steps to a HealthierNY – Broome County is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of Steps to a HealthierUS, a national program focusing on the prevention of diabetes, obesity and asthma and the control of risk factors including poor nutrition, physical inactivity and tobacco use and exposure. For more information about the Steps to a HealthierNY – Broome County, please visit www.goBroomeCounty.com or call 607.778.3929.

Steps to a HealthierNY – Broome County is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative advancing the HealthierUS goal to help Americans live longer, better and healthier lives. This initiative will reduce the burden of chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and asthma and the control of risk factors including poor nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use and exposure through funding of community-based interventions. www.healthierus.gov/steps.

05/14/2006 - 1:23pm