Gauntlet thrown in KC fitness challenge

Kansas City Mayor Sly James
Kansas City Mayor Sly James

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Chamber of Commerce President Jim Heeter spent five months last year trying to shed pounds and get fit.

They had some success, and this year they’re redoubling their efforts. But they’re also enlisting other business leaders to join them, to set an example in a metro area where obesity is nearly epidemic.

“We’ve got to change the stigma of Kansas City being unhealthy,” said Katie Erwin of the Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the “Not So Big KC Challenge,” along with Blue KC.

About 25 business, civic and government leaders are joining in. The competition runs six months, through July.

The ultimate goal, sponsors said, is for the bosses to get their employees involved in an effort that becomes its own fitness and wellness epidemic.