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January 8, 2009

New weight race features “food raiser”

The new year brings the chance for a fresh commitment to healthier living. Registration for Pitt’s second MyHealth Weight Race is underway by logging onto MyHealth OnLine at and clicking on the weight race icon.

The new 12-week competition starts Jan. 26, with final weigh-ins the week of April 15.

Information on the race is available at

This year, participants can help others as they peel off the pounds. The new race includes a “food raiser” to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Weight racers are being asked to solicit friends, family and co-workers for donations of non-perishable food items for each pound lost. For instance, a racer who drops 10 pounds and has five supporters who have pledged one food item for each pound lost would collect 10 items from each of those supporters at the end of the race. The bounty will be picked up from participants’ offices in April.

Details on the food raiser and a printable pledge sheet are available at
Last year, more than 1,300 weight race participants lost a total of more than three tons over the course of the 12-week team event sponsored by the UPMC Health Plan.

This year’s race encourages employees to form teams of three-five members, but also permits participation by individuals and two-person teams.

All participants will be eligible for individual prizes. Members of three-five member teams also will be eligible for team prizes if all members complete the race.

Gift card prizes will be awarded to the teams that achieve the greatest percentage of their team’s weight loss goal. (Random drawings will determine the winner in case of ties.) In addition, participants will receive an entry into a prize drawing every time they self-report their weight by the weekly deadline.

Participants will face official weigh-ins at the start and finish of the race and at weeks 4 and 8. Participants will self-report during the other weeks.

Participants will not be permitted to set a weight-loss goal that would put them below a healthy body mass index or that would require them to shed pounds too rapidly. The maximum goal permitted in the competition is 25 pounds.

The weight race isn’t solely for those who want to lose weight. Those who want to maintain a healthy weight also are eligible to participate.

Organizers are hopeful that many of the people who donned pedometers during the recently completed Pitt Steps It Up walking challenge also will commit to the new weight race.

A new weight race feature is an activity tracker where participants can keep tabs on their activity levels by logging their steps or converting other forms of exercise into their step equivalent.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Key weight race dates

Jan. 10-18: Team and individual registration

Jan. 21-23, 26: Official weigh-in

Week 1 Jan. 26: Weight race begins

Week 2 Feb. 6: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 3 Feb. 13: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 4 Feb. 18-20, 23: Official weigh-in

Week 5 Feb. 27: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 6 March 6: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 7 March 13: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 8 March 18-20, 23: Official weigh-in

Week 9 March 27: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 10 April 3: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 11 April 10: Self-reported weigh-in deadline

Week 12 April 15-17, 20: Final official weigh-in

April 30: Winners announced

Filed under: Feature,Volume 41 Issue 9

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