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Mooresville plans healthy-weight initiative

Mooresville officials are launching a townwide healthy-weight initiative, saying that while the town has numerous fitness facilities, all are membership-based and almost none are in or near the historic part of town.

“Mooresville has grown towards Lake Norman in the past few years, which has caused a disconnect between what is considered new Mooresville and old Mooresville,” the town says in an application for a $25,000 grant for the initiative. “The program that we propose will attempt to bridge that gap and offer a fun way to raise healthy lifestyle awareness.”

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners on March 18 voted 5-to-1 to apply for a $25,000 U.S. Conference of Mayors Weight Watchers grant to pay for more exercise equipment. Getting the grant also would mean steeply discounted Weight Watchers membership fees for residents who register for the program, officials said.

Commissioner Rhett Dusenbury voted against applying for the grant. He said Mayor Miles Atkins “unilaterally” signed up the town to belong to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June 2012 and the conference is an advocacy group that supports abortion and gun control.

“I just don’t want the town to pay for any advocacy group,” Dusenbury told the Observer.

“How do you respond to that?” Atkins told a reporter as he walked in a downpour to his vehicle after the meeting. “I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.”

The program would be the first healthy-weight initiative offered townwide by the Mooresville Recreation and Cultural Services Department, officials said.

The program would be administered through the town’s Talbert Recreation Center in Talbert Pointe Business Park.

As recommended by the town’s wellness nurse, the program would include exercise, dieting and education on such other healthy living habits as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, according to the town’s grant application.

Teams would be formed among companies both in the business park – it’s home to many NASCAR teams – and outside of the park, the application says.

Twice a month, the teams would compete in team challenges at the town’s recreation centers to win prizes or points.

Team members’ body mass index and other health factors would be measured and averaged based on a scale created by the wellness nurse. The team with the biggest average difference in change over the six-month program would win what would be called the Get Fit Iredell Challenge.

Marusak: 704-987-3670;Twitter: @ jmarusak
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