Charleston SC Mayor Launches New Lighten Up Program to Help Community Lose 100,000 Pounds

Lighten Up Charleston was introduced by Riley and members of the community steering committee on last Monday at the Charleston Maritime Center. The mission of the group is to help members of the community lose a collective 100,000 pounds and to be recognized as the healthiest city in the southeastern U.S. by the end of the program’s first year.

“Over the past 30 years, America has experienced a dramatic rise in the incidence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including hypertension,” Riley said. “Medical care sustains people suffering with these health problems but cannot cure them. As a result, medical care costs have accelerated but health status has deteriorated. Many of these health problems are due to lifestyle choices, primarily inadequate nutrition and physical inactivity.

“This situation takes a heavy toll on our children and senior population,” he added.

The initiative partners the city’s steering committee with MUSC, Roper St. Francis, the College of Charleston, the Citadel, Charleston County School District, Benefitfocus and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control Region 7.

“Community health and wellness is the next frontier in medicine, and data has shown that success in weight loss depends on not just the individual but groups and the community,” said Dr. Marcus Newberry, one of the co-chairmen for Lighten Up Charleston. “This project is my number one priority because of its importance to the future of our population.”

An interactive website,, allows people to find programs in the community to get healthy, track progress and learn ways to lose weight. People can log in and report their weight loss, create a group, tell their stories or seek help from the many partners.

Article provided by Charleston Regional Business Journal

Seven Signs that Charleston SC is Still Thriving

In the current Charleston Regional Business Journal’s article, “Deals of the Year” seven clear signs that signify a striving, thriving Charleston, SC are examined.

  1. Boeing’s decision to assemble Dreamliners in North Charleston launched the Lowcountry in the global business’s radar as the next-generation world class aerospace hub and create 4,000 jobs for the area. Boeing also bought Vought, the Dreamliner fuselage assembly plant in North Charleston, SC bringing this key supplier back in the Lowcountry.   
  2. The State Ports Authority (SPA) manages to keep the world’s largest shipping line, Maersk, on board and calling on Charleston, SC until at least 2014. Along with this came the announcement, TBC Corp, the parent company of Tire Kingdom and other retail stores, to build a logistics center in the rural Jedburg and Carnival Cruise Lines announced it will begin offering cruises from Charleston. The SPA will be resigning the downtown Union Pier Cruise Terminal.
  3. The Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston was awarded a $45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy combined with $53 million matching funds to build a test facility for the “next generation” of wind turbines at the former Navy Base. This could make the Lowcountry a magnet for wind energy manufacturing jobs and allow Clemson University to offer its engineers the chance to do cutting-edge research.
  4. SPA Signs Contract with New Chief Executive, Jim Newsome. Newsome has excellent international shipping credentials to help raise the Port of Charleston’s standing on the East Coast.
  5. Congress approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which funded a wide variety of projects that have helped local firms keep working, such as re-roofing of public housing and construction projects at the state’s military installations. It also directed $700 million to help SC state government, most of it for schools.
  6. State Treasurer Converse Chellis pleads with State Budget and Control Board to support a $9.2 million loan to fix the 65 year old USS Laffey. The World War II ship nicknamed, “The Ship that Would Not Die” was in serious danger of sinking. The ship rest at Patriots Point, a huge tourist and revenue generator for the Lowcountry.
  7. The Hollings Cancer Center received NCI designation from the National Cancer Institute along with $7.37 million to Hollings and MUSC. That amount is expected to spur an additional $20 million in research funding in the next five years. The recognition means Hollings can attract top researchers, who bring with them cutting-edge technology, clinical trials, and ideas.

The Lowcountry is making great stride in technological, industrial, and environmental innovation.   It has always been a great place to live and these seven “deals” made this year will only aid to the growth and economical recovery to the place we all love to call home.




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