OKLAHOMA CITY — Alex Olvera, 33, is pre-diabetic, and has high blood pressure and sleep apnea. He doesn’t have energy to play with his three young children.
That’s why he entered Homeland Food Stores’ “Get Healthy Challenge,” a 16-week competition that starts this weekend. The contestant whose health improves the most will win $5,000.
The contest comes at a time when more than 30% of Oklahomans are obese, making the state the sixth most obese in the nation.
The 76-store chain wants to do something about it, said Phil Payment, vice president of marketing and merchandising.
Homeland launched an application process over the summer. The public was asked to send in videos explaining why they want to get in shape.
Homeland chose what it deemed to be the 10 most motivated applicants. Participants will be judged on their improvement in a variety of factors, including weight/BMI, cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides.
“We chose people who are motivated to make the healthy changes, and act as a healthy ambassador for the community,” Alyson Dykstra, Homeland’s corporate dietitian, told SN.
The group will start its wellness journey Oct. 5 during a two-day “wellness camp” consisting of fitness and nutrition training; and personalized instruction on cooking, meal planning, fitness and other behaviors. Each will get a body scan to determine the condition of their heart and lungs.
After wellness camp, contestants will meet with the Homeland dietitian at their local store, and receive $200 to purchase healthy food to restock their pantry.
The grand finale will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, when contestants compete alongside community members in a 5K race. Following the race, the final weigh-in will be held, and one contestant will receive the grand prize.
Each participant will blog about the contest and make in-store appearances.
“We don’t want to just say, “Here’s a wellness program. Follow it,”’ said Dykstra. “We want to make it engaging.”
Sponsored, in part, by Kellogg’s Special K brand, the promotion gives shoppers the resources needed to make sustainable, healthy decisions for themselves and their families, said Dykstra.
“We want people to know that they can make healthy lifestyle choices each time they are in our stores,” she said.
Sidebar: One Contestant’s Story
OKLAHOMA CITY — Eight women and two men will start a 16-week wellness competition this weekend, courtesy of Homeland Food Stores.
Joni Noble is one of them.
Read more: Homeland App Allows Mobile Payment
The 41-year-old entered the contest to learn healthy eating habits and get fit in order to be a better role model to her two children and one grandchild, according to her bio.
She has tried other weight loss programs, but none have worked. Her goal is to lose 50 pounds.
If she wins, she wants to take her family on a vacation in the mountains, stock her home with healthy food and join a gym.
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