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"This is near and dear to my heart," said Dawes, a member of the "Magnificent Seven" in 1996, the first U.S. women's team to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. "Physical fitness and proper nutrition have really been a part of the core of my childhood."
Sebelius praised citywide weight-loss efforts led by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. As of Friday afternoon, the mayor's campaign, thiscityisgoingonadiet.com, included 42,113 participants who had lost a cumulative 576,437 pounds, an average of about 13.7 pounds per person.
"Where Oklahoma City has succeeded is on the awareness side," said Cornett, who signed the pledge for his city to join the "Let's Move Cities and Towns" effort. "What we've seen here is a community that's finally talking about obesity. It was like the taboo subject in our town. No one wanted to talk about it. We just pretended that if we ignored it, it might go away on its own. But we knew it was an issue."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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