Can James, Heeter shed pounds as role models?
The Kansas City Star
Two civic leaders are putting their own considerable weight behind meeting a positive goal.
On Monday Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Heeter committed themselves to shedding pounds and getting healthier.
It’s part of a competition called the “Not So ‘Big KC’ Challenge,” which runs through October and will be overseen by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. The men want to raise awareness about the dangers faced by obese and overweight area residents with poor eating and exercise habits.
The competition is laudable. We also look forward to a broader effort involving all willing Kansas Citians; sponsors have pledged such an expansion later this summer.
James and Heeter exchanged good-natured barbs at the kickoff ceremonies at the Seasons 52 restaurant on the Country Club Plaza. James threatened to send Gates Bar-B-Q to Heeter’s house, while Heeter talked about the bags of cookies the chamber could deliver to the mayor’s office.
Yet James appropriately was a bit more serious when he talked about how his college-aged daughter is concerned about his health. James added that he wanted to “take a stand for my own health” in hopes of being a role model for others.
Both men will have help from a lifestyle coach as well as access to workout areas — helpful perks that many people who struggle with obesity and weight problems don’t have access to.
But James and Heeter have taken an important step by publicly saying they want to get healthier and have a little fun while doing so. We wish them well, and hope their healthy competition leads to a comprehensive campaign to reduce obesity in the Kansas City area.