A simple program started to help Iowans fight the consequences of being rated 11th highest in overweight/obesity rate for adults in the nation has succeeded not only in fighting weight gain, but also in promoting partnerships that benefit local citizens. ISU Extension county education directors and nutrition and health field specialists help promote Lighten Up Iowa (LUI) throughout the state. For example:
* Since 2002 more than 74,000 LUI participants have lost more than 153 tons of weight; 2006 set a new record with 33,000 participants.
* A successful LUI partnership in Webster County prompted ISU Extension and hospital staff to apply for and receive a grant that led to additional wellness activity partnerships.
* ISU Extension’s partnership in Franklin County with a local hospital and wellness center led to twice as many participants and teams. They lost more than 1,000 pounds and logged more than 500,000 minutes of activity.