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Free health classes help Oklahoma City residents live healthier lifestyles

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is offering a free health class for any Oklahoma residents interested in improving their health.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: July 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm •  Published: July 23, 2013

Helen Robbins would usually eat some of the banana pudding.

But on Sunday during her church's potluck, she walked past that dessert table without a scoop.

She later wrote in her health journal about how proud she was that she stuck to her diet.

Instead, she had a meal full of fruits and vegetables.

“It really felt good, especially when I got on the scales,” Robbins said.

Robbins, a 73-year-old Oklahoma City resident, has seen the benefits of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department's Total Wellness program.

The free health classes are held one hour a week for 12 weeks and are offered three times a year. Participants are encouraged to set goals of losing 5 percent of their body weight and becoming active for 2.5 hours each week.

The next classes start up Aug. 6. Anyone interested in enrolling can call 425-4352 or email

Jennifer Like, a dietitian with the health department, coordinates the classes throughout the metro area. Like hears a lot of stories of people improving their health through the program. For example, some participants have lowered their cholesterol to the point where they don't have to take their medicine anymore.

“We focus on something that's maintainable and achievable,” Like said. “A 100-pound weight loss goal, you get frustrated and give up. Losing 10 pounds in three months is much more achievable and realistic.”

About 650 residents graduate from the program each year, which has grown to about 10 locations where the classes are offered.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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