City of Pasadena Takes Health Challenge
Posted on 02/07/2017
Many Pasadena residents participated in last year's It'€™s Time Texas Community Challenge, sending in photos showing themselves eating a healthy meal, exercising or participating in a health-focused community event.

The statewide competition between cities is for bragging rights on making healthy eating choices, and Pasadena is in.

It's Time Texas Community Challenge runs through March 31.

"Its a fun way for people to get involved and help our community and make healthier choices," Pasadena city spokeswoman Jennifer Pederson said.

Sponsored by It's Time Texas, a nonprofit organization which works to improve health in Texas cities, the fifth annual 12-week contest is part of an effort to address statistics showing a rise in childhood and adult diabetes and obesity and lower life-expectancy rates. According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 70 percent of adults in the state are obese.

"Everything we do at It's Time Texas is to combat obesity and turn the tide with the health crisis here in Texas," said Caroline Fothergill, the group's marketing and communications manager. "The challenge was designed to help motivate people to make healthier choices in the new year, but also to spotlight communities in Texas that are already doing really great things around health and wellness."

Participating cities are grouped in five categories based on population, with the highest-scoring cities in their respective categories winning an $18,00 grant to be used for future projects to establish a healthier landscape in their community as well as an invitation to attend a ceremony at the state capital.

This isn't the city's first attempt. Last year, Pasadena was on top throughout most of the challenge until the last stretch.

"We were in first place right up until the last week or two, and then the city of Garland took the lead and ultimately won in our category," Pederson said. "This year, we want to win."

The city earns points based on activities completed by citizens, elected officials, schools, businesses and faith-based organizations.

For instance, a city can earn 1,000 points every time a resident signs up, or a participating resident can earn 200 points just by taking a selfie when eating healthy or 250 points by hosting a free, health-focused community event. City officials, church leaders and education officials can score points just by recording a digital pledge of participation.

According to Fothergill, 284 communities across the state are participating in the contest, which has 12,000 registered participants.

"This is our fifth year running the challenge, and we've already seen more participation in three weeks than last years' in total; so it's grown a lot," Fothergill said.

Fothergill described the city of Pasadena as a fierce competitors in previous years.

It takes a community to make a change, Pederson said.

"We encourage everyone in the community to get involved in this challenge," she said. "It's fun, it's healthy and it benefits our community. Plus, it would be an honor to have Pasadena named as one of the healthiest cities in Texas."

For more information on the Its Time Texas Challenge visit www.itstimetexas.org and for information on how to participate visit the city of Pasadena website at www.ci.pasadena.tx.us/

 

Article provided by the Houston Chronicle - Y.C. Orozco