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Giant's Wellness Pilot Gets the Spotlight

Giant's Wellness Pilot Gets the Spotlight

giant-pic.jpg [3]Helping employees build and maintain healthy lifestyles has become a big focus [4] for supermarkets over the past couple years. And it makes perfect sense, especially since everything you need is already there in the store.

It’s also a great story — and not just for us. Good Morning America [5] did a 5-minute segment [6] this morning on Giant Food Store’s [7] pilot employee wellness program, which enrolled 95 employees who collectively lost more than 1,000 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. It started inauspiciously enough: Mary Ann Moylan, nutritionist at the Willow Grove Giant store in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, began receiving requests from employees to help them eat better. She took the idea for an in-store program to the head honchos in corporate, which led to the pilot program, which in turn is set to become a company-wide initiative.

Employees who enroll will receive an individual eating plan, which should emphasize a variety of foods in smaller portions, consumed more frequently. They will then report in regularly for weigh-ins to track their progress, as well as attend healthy lifestyle seminars.

It’s a simple plan, and it works. Produce manager John Hollanden, who participated in the pilot program, lost 30 pounds. Barista Dot Churylo, a 49-year-old breast cancer survivor, lost 21 pounds. And the winner of the competition, who received the title — unfortunately, perhaps — of “Giant Loser”: Assistant Manager Aaron Abrams, who shed an impressive 38 pounds.

Congrats to all who participated. It looks like a great program. There’s just one thing that bugs me, though, and that’s Robin Roberts’ introduction to the GMA segment: “A supermarket isn’t the first place one thinks of to start a diet.”

Right, because the place that has all the fresh produce and other nutritious foods — definitely not where you’d want to start a diet.