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Need to lose weight? In Centre County, you’re not alone, study finds

How much exercise do you need?

If you turn on the TV, you're bound to see advertisements for a variety of exercise programs guaranteed to help you get in shape and improve your cardiovascular health. But how much exercise do you really need to be heart-healthy? And what type of
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If you turn on the TV, you're bound to see advertisements for a variety of exercise programs guaranteed to help you get in shape and improve your cardiovascular health. But how much exercise do you really need to be heart-healthy? And what type of

Centre County is one of the healthiest counties in Pennsylvania, but a two-year DietSpotlight study found its residents should lose, on average, 53 pounds.

The study, conducted by the nutrition and weight-loss content website, was corroborated Tuesday by Mount Nittany Medical Center, which identified overweight individuals and obesity as areas of concern through its community health needs assessment study.

The average body mass index for Centre County women and men is 33 and 29, respectively, according to the study. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, while anything over 30 is considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nichole Monica, Mount Nittany Health’s marketing, communications and community outreach director, said 29% of adults in the county report a BMI more than 30.

She encouraged individuals to consult with their physician about specific metrics they should measure and monitor, as BMI is just one indicator of a person’s health.

According to Monica, 74% of adults in the county reported they have access to exercise opportunities, while 83% of adults reported they participate in physical activity. Those marks — based on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study — are the highest in the state, Monica said.

“Weight management and weight loss are part of a healthy lifestyle, as well as making decisions throughout the day to choose health over other alternatives,” Monica said. “In this community, we have a wealth of resources for adults, families and children.”

There’s several events coming up for those looking to get in shape and shed some pounds.

More than 1,000 individuals are participating in the Fit Families challenge, which encourages making natural movement and exercise a healthy habit, according to Monica.

Centre Moves sponsors and promotes several opportunities to improve nutrition and healthy eating, while Mount Nittany Health plans to bring Open Streets to Bellefonte on May 18.

The initiative, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., will temporarily close parts of Allegheny and High streets to encourage skating, biking, dancing, hula hooping and other wellness-themed activities.

Centred Outdoors also aims to encourage outdoor activities. Individuals who register online can track their progress and earn e-trophies to climb the virtual leaderboard.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.


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