Elm City Goes on a Diet

Jan 13, 2014

New Haven officials would like, on average, to see each resident lose three pounds in a new initiative.
Credit Comstock/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

The city of New Haven is going on a diet. City officials, health advocates and Yale University announced the initiative on Friday in the Elm City.

The goal is to lose 375,000 pounds citywide, or about three pounds per resident. Participants can log into gethealthyct.org and track their weight loss, plus get tips on how to eat healthier.

The purpose of the initiative is simple: improve the health of the Elm City.

According to Augusta Mueller, senior community benefits administrator for Yale New Haven Health System, New Haven has wide health disparities that leave people in underserved neighborhoods prone to usually preventable ailments. "In the low income neighborhoods in New Haven," she said, "there is a 69 percent obesity and overweight prevalence. In the higher income neighborhoods, it's actually 51 percent. So you can see the difference." Mueller pointed out that even a loss of five percent body weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Organizers of the weight loss challenge chose a 375,000 pound goal to coincide with the city's recent 375th anniversary, but they to hope exceed that number sometime this year.