DETROIT (WWJ) – Wayne County held a conference on Wednesday at Ford Field as a multi-cultural effort to help battle obesity.

It’s all part of Wayne County’s three-year healthy New-Me initiative. The program engages local communities, families and individuals into embracing healthier lifestyles, as well as eating better and increasing their physical activity.

“Part of what we want to do is get the message out,” said Edith Killins, Wayne County’s Director of Health and Human Services. “We’ve got to do a better job of telling the story.”

That story, according to Killins, is that obesity is an epidemic.  Michigan is currently listed as the nation’s tenth fattest state.

Killins said you got to act and not just talk “because obesity leads to many chronic diseases.  Hypertension is one, diabetes is one, heart disease and the list goes on.  This is a real economic issue.  This is a real health issue.”

Community faith-based and various organizations also came together to share ideas.

Ron Morelli, who lost close to 200 pounds as a contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” also spoke at Wednesday’s conference.

“Between the four of us, myself, my wife, and both my boys, we have lost somewhere between 700 and 800 pounds in collective weight,” said Morelli.

Morelli said the show changed his and his family’s lives.

“Ever since ‘The Biggest Loser,’ we’ve made a point to try and change the lives of other people that have been overweight,” he said.  “We wrote a book collectively of the four of us, ‘Fat Family/Fit Family.’ We now do a camp for overweight kids in the summer.”

Morelli told WWJ Newsradio 950 that it’s now their passion to keep fit and a daily challenge.


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