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The “Lose It to Win It” community health challenge encourages New Ulm, Minn., residents to lose 10 pounds or maintain their weight if it is already in a healthy range. Data from community health screenings show that seven out of 10 New Ulm residents need to lose weight to reduce their risk of heart attack.(Minnesota Public Radio News photo)

One city’s attack on heart disease, obesity

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When her weight crept past 300 pounds last year, Denise Leitz of New Ulm, Minn., knew something had to change.

Her clothes didn’t fit. Airplane seat belts weren’t long enough to reach around her waist — and she was always in pain.

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“I would drop something on the floor and have to crawl to it,” Leitz said. “I mean, it was horrible to be like that.”

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