Boston Already Moves for Health

Boston was called out this week for failing a weight loss initiative, and we'd like them to shut up.

runnersRunning photo via Shutterstock

Boston made national headlines again this week. The good news? It’s not for the flu. The bad news? It’s because we failed (a big time, epic fail) at the Boston Moves for Health initiative. The Wall Street Journal reported that:

In June, a mere two months after the challenge began, the city kicked off “Fitness on the Plaza,” a series of free exercise classes for the citizenry to work off its blubber. But the same week in the same place—City Hall Plaza—Boston tempted the sweet tooth by hosting the annual “Scooper Bowl,” billed as the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat ice-cream festival, offering delicacies from Rockin’ Poppin’ Cotton Candy to Hunka Chunka PB Fudge.

First of all, having a fitness class in the same location as an ice cream event on completely different days it not sending mixed messages. And the Scooper Bowl is awesome. The event benefits The Jimmy Fund, which is very near and dear to our hearts. Also, if you exercise and eat right most of the time, then many nutrition and fitness experts will tell you that having a cheat day once in a while is not only acceptable, but encouraged. The article even says that  “a cruddy Red Sox season” is an excuse for not meeting our fitness goals. Well, now we are just offended.

Massachusetts is consistently ranked one of the country’s fittest states. So how could we fail at a weight loss program? We covered this back in August, when we realized how far behind we were in reaching the goal. There are many reasons why this didn’t work. And none of them have to do with ice cream events and a losing Red Sox season.

First, you have to log in and track your weight loss. And while that certainly works for some people, others are simply too busy. If you are already taking the time to workout, then perhaps you don’t want to take an extra step to track it for a city run initiative. Second, many of us already workout regularly, hence the top three spot in the “fittest state” rankings year after year.

A state that had success with a similar program is Alabama, which is the second fattest state in the country. How did Alabama lose 148,963 pounds in 10 weeks? Did they just have more fat to lose? No, they used cash. Seriously, cash. If you have to bribe your state to workout, should it even count?

We think it is important to focus on the positive. Through the Boston Moves for Health program we’ve lost 74,903 pounds and logged 5,526,412 miles. And while that is no where near the million pound goal, it is at least something. For the people that lost the weight it is a success for them, so why knock it?

The best part is that through the program, nine Boston Public Schools have won a total of $4,500 for new physical education equipment for boosting their daily physical activity. So while Alabama may have better numbers then we do, at least our money is going to schools and not individuals that finally decide to get off the couch.