LiveWell to debut Weigh and Win Kiosk
ALAMOSA— A new program in Alamosa promises to reward San Luis Valley residents with cash incentives for achieving healthier lifestyles. Weigh and Win is the nation’s first community-wide program offering cash rewards and prizes to individuals who achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Weigh and Win is available for free to all Colorado residents over the age of 18. The program opened up in the Front Range in March of this year and to date over 4,800 people have signed up and more than 7,200 pounds have been lost.
Weigh and Win will come to Alamosa because of a partnership between LiveWell Alamosa and Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc., the SLV Regional Medical Center, and the City of Alamosa. “This is an innovative way for Live Well and Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. to work with our community partners to help individuals improve their health by losing weight. A person can go to SLV Regional Medical Center at their convenience and in privacy, be weighed and get the support and tools that they need to lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight. An individual’s weight can impact many aspects of their overall health. I too, will make use of this opportunity.” Stated Gigi Darricades, President and CEO of Valley-Wide.
Installation of the kiosk and the San Luis Valley Weigh and Win program will kick off on August 31 at 3 p.m. in the Regional Medical Center Atrium with a gala ribbon cutting, music, and short speeches by the mayor of Alamosa, local partners, a nutritionist and a personal trainer. The event is open to all residents of the San Luis Valley.
The City of Alamosa recently agreed to raise their profile in the area of health, “In an effort to encourage a healthy Alamosa, our city council has stepped up in support of this initiative and has agreed to become a Let’s Move City under the project created by Michelle Obama. These initiatives encourage exercise and healthy eating habits. We’ll be right at the forefront of Weigh and Win and invite all of Alamosa and the SLV to participate with us! “ Mayor, Kathy Rogers said.
Once in place participants can register for free at www.WeighandWin.com, complete their first weigh-in, and receive a personal plan. As they eat healthy and become active, participants will receive daily support through email, text, and online resources. The kiosk at the SLV Regional Medical Center is the place to complete a private photographed weigh in every 90 days to track progress. This kiosk location is open to the public from 6am to 9pm 7 days a week.
Participants then qualify for cash rewards and other prizes. Other opportunities are available to win prizes just for maintaining a healthy weight. Weigh and Win is free to anyone in the community age 18 and over. Participants will have access to a variety of online coaching tools to help them reach their goals.
Weigh and Win was developed as a community health program by Kaiser Permanente and a health technology company, incentaHEALTH. Programs using similar technology, have achieved notable results in workplace settings. In business deployments of the incentaHEALTH program, the average employee loses 6 percent body weight (12 pounds for a 200 pound person) and 40 percent of participants stay in the program for one year.
Weigh and Win is just one example of how Kaiser Permanente is committed to comprehensively fighting the obesity epidemic by making the healthy choice the easy choice through environmental and policy change. In addition to providing evidence based weight management strategies and health education programs to its 533,000 members in Colorado, the organization is a founding funder of LiveWell Colorado, the only statewide non-profit dedicated exclusively to leading a collaborative fight against obesity. To date, LiveWell has reached more than 130,000 children at 1,087 schools and more than 700,000 people with community-wide strategies.
“LiveWell Alamosa is really excited to bring Weigh and Win to the San Luis Valley. Over the last four years, LiveWell and its partners have worked hard to increase opportunities for physcial activity and access to health foods across the lifespan in the community. Weigh and Win is a great program because it gives cash incentives to residents to lose weight. Who couldn’t use a little extra cash and a little less weight to carry around?” stated Liza Marron, LiveWell Alamosa Coordinator at Valley-Wide.
Overweight and Obesity rates in the San Luis Valley are at 58.6 percentof adults according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“We know that being overweight or obese has serious health consequences. It not only increases the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but there’s also a tremendous cost to our communities,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Government and External Relations. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of all Coloradans and this program builds upon our extensive work to increase healthy eating and physical activity.”
The Centers for Disease Control define obesity as follows: “ Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
Definitions for Adults
For adults overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a rare percentage of cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness.
Lifestyle change that includes eating healthier and physical exercise is the main treatment for obesity. It is important to improve diet quality by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber found in plant foods.
It is important to note, says Marron that our built environment favors the automobile and our American lifestyle favors fast food. Cooking is becoming a lost art. LiveWell is part of a national resurgence to bring back the home-cooked meal, family and community gardens, family farms, farm to table and walking and biking infrastructure in the community. Weigh and Win is another piece of the puzzle to bring back our health. “People are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” stated Marron.
HOW IT WORKS
106 Blanca Avenue San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center Atrium
Participants can also weigh in at the Front Range sites found on the Weigh and Win website below
FOR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.weighandwin.com or LiveWell Alamosa at VWHS 587-1034
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and southern Colorado area residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 533,000 members through 23 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fourth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado , No. 9 in the nation and one of the top 5 Medicare plans in the U.S. for the second year in a row. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.