Over 800 state employees at 26 agencies and over 50 worksites committed to meet their New Year’s resolution to lose weight by signing up for the WellMASS Weight Loss Challenge. The purpose of this Challenge was to provide state agencies and employees with the tools needed to successfully lose weight by encouraging them to incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating habits, as well as simple “mini-moves” and nutrition swaps, into their day. The goal of the six-week Challenge was to safely lose 1-2 pounds each week, or 6-12 pounds by the end of the Challenge. The Challenge was self-paced and came in the form of a toolkit distributed to agency Wellness Champions, who were free to modify the Challenge to suit their employees’ needs. Several agencies expanded upon the toolkit’s offerings by hosting weekly weigh-ins and weight loss meetings for participants.
Participating agencies had the option to enroll in a state-wide weight loss competition, in which the agency whose participants lost the greatest average percent body weight would win a healthy lunch provided by WellMASS. Agencies were also able to earn two additional points toward their weight loss total if 100% of eligible Challenge participants took their WellMASS health assessment. With 29 sites submitting weight loss information, and 1,422 pounds lost overall, the competition was fierce, but the Department of Public Health’s State Lab in Jamaica Plain came out on top, with participants losing an average of 3.08% of their body weight. What really put the State Lab at the top of the pack, however, was the fact that 100% of all eligible participants took their health assessment, adding an extra two points to their weight loss total. Wellness Champion Jacki Dooley and her 27 colleagues who participated in the Challenge will receive their healthy lunch on May 13.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.