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Governor Herbert Issues Health Challenge

Andrea Smardon

Governor Gary Herbert is hoping his quest to lose a little weight will inspire other Utahns to get healthy.  Herbert launched a challenge Tuesday at his second annual Health Summit.   The Governor’s ‘Choose Health’ Challenge is a 10-week long program where state leaders are invited to compete with the Governor in adopting healthy behaviors. 

At the Governor’s own personal health assessment next to the ballroom of the Grand America Hotel, Herbert removed his shoes and jacket for a Body Mass Index measurement, and his finger was pricked more than once for a blood sample.

“This is the third time he’s poked me!” Herbert exclaimed, “People will think I’m a heartless politician.”

All this is part of the Governor’s ‘Choose Health’ challenge  to cabinet members, state agencies, and legislators – who are being asked to lead Utahns to take more personal responsibility for their health.

“We can lead by example,”  Herbert told reporters,  “I think it is important that all of us take responsibility of our own health.  We’ve become too sedentary in Utah and across the country.  Too many of us are couch potatoes.  We ought to be out participating more and watching less. “

Herbert says 60 percent of Utahns are overweight and that percentage is expected to go up.  As for Utah’s governor -  he is in the target range of a healthy Body Mass Index, but he’d like to lose 5 or 6 pounds.  He says he’s going to exercise more and give up soda.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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