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      Take a "Healthier You" pledge

      Many say it's hard to find time to exercise and eat right, but avoiding obesity is as easy as a few small lifestyle changes.

      Last Wednesday, Governor Snyder talked with the Michigan Department of Community Health about reducing our state's obesity rate. Michigan Healthier Tomorrow is the statewide message they decided on. The message encourages Michiganders to pledge to lose 10 percent of their body weight.

      Doctors say that there is strong evidence ten percent weight loss is a reasonable and achievable goal for anyone.

      The YMCA of Marquette is enrolled and is taking pledges for the program. Children are also able to enroll.

      "A couple months ago we were awarded a grant from the Department of Community Health to make some of those changes for children. We're working in Gwinn schools, Ishpeming schools and Negaunee schools in the Before and After School Program about fitness and nutrition and training kids. We help them work with their parents and get them doing some other parent activities and really try to make lifestyle changes," said Lisa Coombs-Gerou, Chief Executive Officer for the YMCA of Marquette.

      According to the MDCH, over 800,000 children and five million adults have weight problems in Michigan.

      A 10 percent weight loss for those who are overweight can improve blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, improve heart health, decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes, and strengthen the immune system. Losing 10 percent can also decrease back and joint pain, improve breathing and sleep, increase energy and stamina, improve mood, and improve self confidence.