A Missouri native turned Okie for life is determined to improve the lives of Oklahomans through educating the state’s population on the power of supplements.
Contributor: Nazarene Iqbal Harris
On any given day twenty-six-year-old Kevin Wilhite is doing what he loves most – working out, eating well and educating Oklahomans on health and fitness. Wilhite is one of many Sooner State residents determined to improve upon statistics that year after year rank Oklahoma as one of the least healthiest places to live, work and raise a family. A 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed Oklahoma among the top five states in the nation with the highest percentage rates for adult obesity.
“I think there’s a movement in Oklahoma right now to change these statistics,” Wilhite said. “We’re beginning to realize the impact our health has on our lives and on our communities.”
A 2018 study published by publichealth.org, revealed that one in three children in the United States is now considered overweight or obese.
“The long term consequences of this childhood obesity epidemic are devastating,” the study’s authors stated. “Today’s children may be the first generation in U.S. history to lead shorter and less healthy lives than their parents.”
The study revealed several health problems associated with obesity and poor diet, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, respiratory disease, cognitive health issues and musculoskeletal disorders.
A healthier Oklahoma, Wilhite said, has to begin with education.
“We kind of live by this motto: Our customers are our friends first,”
Wilhite said. “So we don’t just want to sell customers products, we want to get to know them, and we want to educate them on how supplements can make a difference in their lives.”
In 2015, Wilhite, a Missouri native who attended Missouri State University was working at a Supplement Superstore, one of a nationally recognized supplement store chain. He decided to leave the Show-Me State with two friends and traveled southwest to open their own supplement store in north Oklahoma City. While the trio remain good friends, Wilhite said, he is now the sole owner of Triad Fitness + Supplements + Nutrition located at 14201 N. May Avenue.
“We were open to moving to literally anywhere in the U.S for our business,” Wilhite said. “Oklahoma City really stood out because the market for health products here is so unsaturated yet at the same time the city is growing rapidly.”
Products at Triad Fitness + Supplements + Nutrition include everything from multivitamins to protein powders.
“We have a pretty wide range of customers as well,” Wilhite said.
“We have athletes who come in wanting to know what products they can use to get the most out of their workouts and we have busy moms who come in wanting to know how they can increase their energy.” Every so often, Wilhite said, a customer will come into the store with a doctor’s note in hand.
Unlike medical prescriptions, Wilhite said, nutritional supplements remain a genre of products unregulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The lack of oversight has resulted in too many instances of gimmick products that have left potential buyers understandably cautious.
There are two ways to ensure that products are legitimate, Wilhite said.
“While product owners can’t offer FDA regulated supplements, we can ensure that our products are manufactured in facilities that are FDA regulated,” Wilhite said. “Any product you buy should be manufactured in an FDA regulated facility and should also list all ingredients on the package with a full disclosure label.”
Wilhite said he warns his customers not to go for supplements that boast a “proprietary blend” of ingredients instead of listing each ingredient individually.
When customers come into Triad Fitness + Supplements + Nutrition with health concerns, questions or even a diagnosis, Wilhite’s team is prepared to answer questions and to educate. Every sales associate, the business owner said, has to become certified in personal training and health through an intense educational process before they can meet with customers.
A Successful Foundation
While not every Oklahoman is looking for a specific supplement, Wilhite said, nearly every individual could benefit from adding at least three to their diet.
Every day, Wilhite said, we consume macronutrients – which we get from proteins, carbohydrates and fats – and micronutrients – which we get mainly from fruits and vegetables. A lack of micronutrients, Wilhite said, is responsible for most nutritional deficiencies.
“With our modern diets and the foods available to us today, there really is just no way to get the amount of micronutrients our bodies need by consuming food alone,” Wilhite said.
The remedy, the young entrepreneur said, can be found in a simple multivitamin. Wilhite recommends taking a multivitamin, a probiotic and fish oil daily. The three supplements combined, he said, heal nutrient-
deprived bodies and serve as the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Wilhit’s team includes supplement consultants Alfonso Lopez and Zach Junker, administrator Alyssa Marconi, assistant operator Trace Thews, and Anthony Hust, a supplement consultant in training.
“I wasn’t born and raised in Oklahoma but I plan on staying here for life,” White said proudly. “I can honestly say I love getting up every day and going to work because for me, it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like I’m making lifelong friends and a difference in their lives while I’m at it.”
To learn more about Triad Fitness + Supplements + Nutrition visit triadfsn.com.