MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 29, 2013

City honored as a Certified Healthy Community

— Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn said recognition as a Certified Healthy Community is a great honor.

“But it also presents a challenge,” Coburn said. “We’re not all healthy.”

The City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative celebrated Muskogee’s “healthy” status Thursday at a luncheon and awards ceremony. The luncheon recognized businesses, schools, college campuses and restaurants that received 2012 honors through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program, a state effort to improve employee health.

City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative Chairman Dr. James Baker said Muskogee has made progress in stressing health and wellness.

“We’re starting to see streets in town beginning to have bike lanes,” he said. “We worked on supporting community gardens.”

The Muskogee Farmers’ Market played a part in community wellness through Grill Crazy, a program about healthy cooking.

“Anyone and everyone can be a leader,” Baker said, presenting a challenge. “We’re calling to have you around for your children, to have you around for your grandchildren, to have you around for weddings.”

Dessert Girl’s Bakery Cafe was one of three Muskogee eateries recognized as Certified Healthy Restaurants. However, representatives were too busy serving lunch at the restaurant to attend the luncheon.

Owner Marla Salmon said the award is “just a good way to show that our meals are healthy.”

“We make salads, sandwiches and soups every day,” she said. “Our motto is moderation. You can have a dessert if you eat a healthy meal.”

“We promote physical fitness at our school site,” said Carol Scott, physical education teacher at Fort Gibson Intermediate School. She said there also is no smoking at Fort Gibson schools.

In a keynote address, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett talked about how OKC went from one of the most obese cities to one of the 25 healthiest cities. In 2007, Cornett challenged citizens to lose a total of one million pounds. The city created a website in which people could pledge to lose weight. He said 150,000 people signed up in the first day. The city made its goal in four years.

Baker said Muskogee tried a similar website but did not have as much success.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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