Wash. mayors get started on weight-loss campaigns

Associated Press Published: May 2, 2012

WASHOUGAL, Wash. (AP) — Sean Guard watched other people exercising from the window of his car or his office in City Hall, as the pounds piled on slowly, a little bit at a time. The Washougal mayor left his city's bike trails and foot paths to those more inclined to exercise while he made short work of chicken-fried steaks.

In neighboring Camas on the Columbia River, Scott Higgins leaves up a skinny picture on his online resume, but the truth is a little harder for the city's mayor. He has ratcheted up and down the scale, but on Wednesday landed at a firm 300 pounds.

Together, the two present a familiar picture of the ever-expanding American waistline— or, at least the kind of weight problems that contribute to higher health care costs and shortened life spans. Higgins has lost a significant amount of weight two or three times, he said. Guard has never tried.

With a health coach and a new diet program, the two mayors hope to lead their respective cities to a collective weight loss. But first, they talked a little trash.

"I'm planning on sabotaging you at every chance I get," Higgins said. "You might want to tell your office staff to not accept any packages from the city of Camas."

"The more calories the better," Guard responded. "I know how to share."

Taking inspiration from television's "The Biggest Loser," the cities are making it competitive in a contest to see which can lose the most weight in 12 months.

At a Wednesday press conference, Guard and Higgins stepped on the scales. Neither was particularly happy with the number — Higgins was 10 pounds heavier than he said he weighed during an interview last week.

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