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ARCOP Recognizes County’s Efforts to Fight, Curb Obesity

THRIVING COMMUNITY – Members of Cleveland County’s Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ARCOP) committee stand next to a replica of the banner the group received last Thursday for being designated as a “Thriving Community,” the highest achievement a community can receive for its effort to curb obesity. Pictured are (left to right) Les Walz, staff chair fo the Clevelannd County Cooperative Extension Service office; Britt Talent, publisher of the Cleveland County Herald; John Appleget, a member of the Cleveland County ARCOP group; and Gwen Paul, administrator of the Cleveland County Health Unit and a member of the ARCOP committee.

LITTLE ROCK – It’s an uphill battle to prevent and reduce obesity in Arkansas, one of the nation’s most afflicted state, but communities in each of Arkansas’ 75 counties are fighting it every day.

Many of those communities were recognized Thursday, during the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention’s 10-year celebration, held at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock.

Katrina Betancourt, the coalition’s president, told the several hundred people in attendance that their respective efforts to help prevent obesity over the last decade had already had a profound effect on the state’s population.

“Our communities are healthier because of what you do,” Betancourt said.

Founded in 2007, the coalition was finally awarded non-profit 501(c)3 status earlier in 2017.

The coalition uses three tiers of recognition in documenting efforts on the part of communities: emerging, blossoming and thriving. Among those recognized Thursday was the City of Rison, recognized as “Blossoming Community,” and surrounding Cleveland County, recognized as “Thriving Community.”

To read the full article, see the December 6, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.

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