School of Public Health Students Lead Community Focused Weight Loss Campaign

School of Public Health Students Lead Community Focused Weight Loss Campaign

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The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland today announced the student-led, year-long Lose It to Win Itcampaign, an interactive weight loss initiative designed to encourage Prince George’s county residents to get healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease – the leading cause of death among county residents. 

Students in the School of Public Health’s Healthy Futures Program developed the Lose it to Win It campaign with the guidance of public health faculty members with expertise in behavior change and the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles. This unique, community-based challenge urges county residents to lose four pounds in 2015, and provides educational and motivational text messages to nudge people to make healthy changes related to diet and activity levels. In addition, there are prizes and incentives for the communities with the most weight lost.

Prince George’s County residents, more than 70% of whom are overweight or obese, experience a higher rate of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma and cancer than residents in most of the neighboring counties, and in several cases, at a rate higher than the state average. Racial and ethnic differences reveal even greater disparities. 

"Even modest weight loss can decrease a person’s risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity," explains School of Public Health Professor Elliot Segal. Lose it to Win It’s goal is to get Prince George’s County to collectively lose one million pounds in 2015! This translates to 250,000 people losing four pounds each.

Individuals who either live or work in the county can sign up through the Lose It to Win It website to join the weight-loss challenge. The website also provides a variety of resources, including helpful diet and exercise tips to help shed the weight. As an added incentive for sign-up, College Park Tennis Center will award three FREE one-hour “Rally in 10” tennis lessons. 

The Healthy Futures program partners are: Parks & Recreation M-NCPPC, University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement, Prince George’s County, Maryland, Madieu Williams Foundation, The Healthy Policy Research Consortium, Center for a Healthy Maryland, Sugar Free Kids Maryland, The Maryland State Medical Society, and the Town of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.

Source: Graham Binder, University Communications

January 15, 2015


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UMD's Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which simulates weightlessness, is one of only two such facilities in the U.S.