June 4, 2002 Houston, TX -- Mayor Lee P. Brown today appointed fitness expert Lee Labrada as Houston's first fitness czar, and together they launched Get Lean Houston!, an ongoing, citywide health and fitness movement designed to help the city forever shed its "fattest city" title. Through education, citywide events and the leadership of a fitness czar, Mayor Brown and Fitness Czar Labrada will encourage Houstonians of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities to get into shape, live healthier lifestyles and work collectively to change the image of Houston from fat to fit.
Get Lean Houston! was created, in part, as a result of Houston topping Men's Fitness magazine's annual survey as the nation's fattest city for the second consecutive year. The 20-month, bilingual campaign will strive to educate Houstonians on health and fitness myths and facts, repercussions of poor nutrition and lack of exercise, as well as to promote Houston's numerous parks and recreation facilities. A bilingual Web site - www.getleanhouston.com - will serve as the information resource for health and fitness, and will include a free fitness/nutrition/exercise manual written by the fitness czar. In addition, it will list Get Lean Houston! programs, promotions and activities which will be created through strategic partnerships with local businesses, corporations, nonprofit organizations and individuals, to truly expand the reach of the campaign throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area.
Labrada will lead the Get Lean Houston! initiative. A former Mr. Universe, he holds 22 other bodybuilding titles and is a world-renowned expert in the health and fitness industry. He is founder, president and chief executive officer of Houston-based Labrada Nutrition.
"Lee Labrada adds the muscle and motivation needed to get Houston going," said Mayor Brown. "Lee has accomplished so much and his expertise in the fields of exercise and nutrition will be a tremendous benefit to Houston and our efforts to promote better fitness."
Lee Labrada Resident of Houston for More Than 20 Years
"As a resident of Houston for more than 20 years, I love this city and sincerely care about its image," Labrada said. "I am equally as passionate about giving people the information and access to the resources they need to achieve their personal health and fitness goals. I consider it a tremendous privilege to be able to serve my city and its residents as fitness czar. Together with Mayor Brown and the City of Houston, our program will lay the foundation for Houstonians to learn the lifelong benefits of a healthy, fit and active lifestyle."
Labrada said the program will target adults, but will also focus on youth, whose sedentary lifestyles and junk food diets are creating a whole generation which will be plagued by early onset of serious health issues common with being overweight -- heart attacks, diabetes, kidney failure, strokes and other fatal or life-altering medical problems.
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department, a department of the City of Houston, operates 293 parks, covering more than 20,000 acres, as well as offers a variety of adult and youth sports and recreational programs. These same programs and facilities will be incorporated into the Get Lean Houston! program.
"We are combining the numerous resources we already have through our Parks and Recreation Department with Lee's proven fitness and nutrition plans to develop an all-encompassing program," said Mayor Brown.