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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Biggest Loser Competition Draws More Than 300 Participants

Scout Government Day at the City of Brownsville

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brownsville’s Biggest Loser/ “Gana Perdiendo” Challenge Kicks Off Saturday


What: City of Brownsville and School of Public Health Announce “Brownsville’s Biggest Loser Contest”
Contact: Lisa Mitchell-Bennett (956) 882-5183 Art Rodriguez (956) 542-3437
Date of Event: Challenge Kick-Off February 13, 2010—Challenge and activities on-going through May 15th
Location: Linear Park Harrison between E. 6th and E. 7th Streets


The City of Brownsville and the UT School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus announce the Brownsville’s Biggest Loser/ “Gana Perdiendo” Challenge! The goal of the challenge is to inspire the community to increase physical activity, make healthy food choices, and when necessary, lose weight in order to improve overall health. The rates of obesity and over-weight in our community are some of the highest in the nation and this Challenge is designed to address this.

Another positive part of the challenge is that participants will have the opportunity to register for the popular network show Biggest Loser (NBC) sponsored “Pound for Pound Challenge”, a national initiative which donates 14 cents for every pound lost to charities that feed the hungry in the United States.

Cash prizes will be awarded to groups and individuals who lose the most % weight over a three month period. Categories include male individual, female individual, small group (2-10 participants), large group (11-26 participants) and a family category (up to 5 participants). Prizes range from $200 for the individual winners to $1,200 for the large group winners.

Participants must be 18 years or older to participate. You may not participate if you are pregnant or not overweight. Participants should see their doctor before starting an exercise or weight loss program.

Every City Commissioner will be participating in fun activities that will include screening, fitness activities and fun walks every weekend throughout the challenge to inspire healthy eating and active living. Some local companies are matching the prize money, or offering other incentives to employees who participate. Improving the health of employees can increase productivity and reduce the cost of health insurance premiums paid by employers. The competition is meant to build community and social support in a positive spirit and to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating and active living throughout the city in a united fashion so that our lives and lives of our children are enriched.

Challenge organizers emphasize that this is not about excessive weight loss, fad diets or extreme measures. Research shows that the healthiest way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight is to keep loss to at most 2-3 pounds a week. The safest, most effective way to do this is to exercise 30 minutes a day, most days of the week; increase the amount of fruits and vegetables and reduce the portions of the other foods you eat. The competition lasts 14 weeks so that participants have enough time to develop lasting habits, and lose the weight in a slow, steady manner. These simple recommendations will be the emphasis of the contest, as they are of the Tu Salud ¡Si Cuenta! campaign.”

In addition to the initial weigh-in (Feb. 12th and 13th) and the final weigh-in (May 15th), participants will be invited to attend weekly activities. They will be required to weigh-in at a mid-point during the competition to assure that they are not losing excessive weight or engaging in unhealthy weight-loss practices.

If you would like to participate, you can take your pick of two registration/weigh-in dates, but all participants must attend either Friday, February 12th between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the former Boys and Girls’ club (now home to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation) on Tyler St. between E. 7th St. and 8th St., or Saturday morning, February 13th between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00p.m. at the Brownsville Farmers’ Market Linear Park at Harrison between E. 6th and E. 7th St.

The Saturday registration/weigh-in will be a festive kick-off event featuring cooking and exercise demonstrations, and other activities going on at the Farmers’ Market.