ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Nearly 7% of Wegmans employees who signed up for its Eat Well Live Well Challenge reported losing weight as a result, according to the chain.
About one in three employees (11,500) participated in the seventh annual challenge. Participants were polled at the conclusion of the eight-week program that launched March 15.
Although weight loss was the most popular result of the program, employees also reported lowered blood pressure (200), improved cholesterol readings (219) and that they’d quit smoking (39).
“As encouraging as these results are, they probably don’t capture the full impact of this year’s challenge,” said Becky Lyons of Wegmans’ human resources department, and one of the challenge coordinators, in a statement. “Shortly before this year’s challenge began, 5,300 employees took advantage of the free health screening we offer employees twice a year. By the next screening in early fall, it’s likely that even more of this year’s challenge participants will see improvements.”
New this year was a call-to-action day for employees prior to the program’s kickoff. Wegmans encouraged sign-ups with free health screenings and education stations that showed simple ways of meeting daily goals. Participants also received a free pedometer to count the daily goal of 10,000 steps, and a workbook with meal and activity planning tools called “Your Journey to a Healthier, Better Life.”
Another enhancement was the “meal builder” in the workbook, to help people plan healthy, satisfying meals that reflect the federal dietary guidelines published a few years ago.
“People have said that this Daily Meal Template helped them to include more whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables with smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day to feel satisfied, and there’s less temptation to overeat,” said Wegmans nutritionist Krystal Register, in a statement.
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