Despite the discouraging news, Oklahomans like Paul Lundsford are taking to steps to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Lundsford, 31, of Moore, has lost 70 pounds since October, mostly by cutting out fast food and working out five times a week.
Instead of potato chips, Lunsford snacks on Greek yogurt. He runs, lifts weights and takes aerobic classes at the Earlywine YMCA, where he works in membership services.
“Once I started, I just wanted to keep going,” he said. “I feel much better about myself.”
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett struggled for years with a weight problem before dropping 40 pounds and introducing a citywide initiative to lose 1 million pounds.
Four years later, the mayor reached his goal, with 47,000 people losing more than 20 pounds each.
“I think Oklahoma City is doing better,” Cornett said. “The state statistics are disappointing to me and everybody else around, but I think Oklahoma City is helping the state's statistics.”
Once listed as one of the nation's fattest cities by Men's Fitness Magazine, Oklahoma City ranked No. 23 on the list of America's fittest cities in the March issue of the magazine.
“Our per capita income is going up, and I think that's naturally improving health statistics,” Cornett said. “We're changing the culture of the city with awareness and infrastructure that we feel will lead to better results down the line.”
The Associated Press