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Be Well Utah kicks off week of free events with ‘Walk Away Obesity’ in Sugar House Park

Posted at 6:07 PM, Aug 15, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – Saturday kicks off a week-long series of events for Be Well Utah, which is a partnership between Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah and the University of Utah to promote health and wellness in the Beehive State.

It is the seventh year Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield has been involved with ‘Be Well Utah.’ All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday morning’s event was sponsored by the University of Utah Bariatrics Department, and surgeons hosted a walk to raise awareness about the dangers of obesity.

“We’re really trying to call attention to the problem of obesity in Utah, in this country, and encourage people to do something about it,” said Dr. Eric Volckmann, director of bariatric surgery at the University of Utah Hospital.

Patients who have had bariatric surgery, their families and community members turned out to raise awareness at the Walk Away Obesity event at Sugar House Park.

“Nationwide, one-in-three individuals are obese--over 75 million people--and in Utah, over one-in-four people suffer from obesity,” Volckmann said.

Participants walked around the park and celebrated in a healthy living community gathering.

“There’s a lot of former patients and future patients here, and there’s a real community of alumni that want to see each other do well and succeed,” said Matt Haydon, a participant of the walk and former bariatric patient.

Several people who have received weight loss surgery turned out for Saturday’s event. Alex Aerts said the surgery changed his life.

“I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, so that’s helped me out,” Aerts said. “And they’ve got a great support system that’s a good bunch of people to help you out and walk you through the whole thing.”

Be Well Utah is hosting several wellness events across the Salt Lake Valley in the coming week.

“Next event is on Monday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at our Mid Valley Health Center--Skin and Vision Fair--really focusing around all things about skin and vision,” said ‘Be Well Utah’ Event Organizer Janelle Robinson.

For a full list of events, which will wrap up next Saturday, click here.