Biggest Loser Challenge issued

by Jim Boyle
Residents of Elk River determined to adopt more healthful eating and exercise habits this year will get a chance to transform their lost pounds into food bank donations through a competition sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, Minnesotans throughout the state began registering their teams of friends, family members and coworkers to compete in the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge.

The Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge is a statewide competition designed to encourage all Minnesotans to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Businesses, community groups and families will compete with one another, earning points for healthy behaviors like dropping extra pounds, exercising and eating healthful foods.

Participants who track their healthy behaviors consistently throughout the challenge may be eligible for prizes including a trip to “The Biggest Loser” television finale in Los Angeles, Calif.

Participants are encouraged to join the Pound for Pound Challenge to make a difference in their communities as they improve their own health and wellness.

Jess Rengstorf, the Sherburne County Health and Human Services, Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) coordinator, says organizers of the weight-loss program are wise to be tied to the popular “Biggest Loser” television program.

“I can see it being a great motivator,” she said.

For every pound of weight they pledge to lose, a pound of groceries will be delivered to a local Feeding America food bank.

The Minnesota Challenge is the second wellness competition offered by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, a group of Minnesota companies joined together to create fun, engaging and informative events and competitions to help Minnesotans get and stay healthy.

Members of the alliance include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cargill, General Mills, Medica, Medtronic, Target, UnitedHealth Group and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program.

During the summer of 2010, a pilot wellness competition called the Biggest Loser Summer Challenge brought 10,000 employees of the alliance member companies together to shed more than 35,000 pounds, exercise 16 million minutes and earn millions of nutrition points by making healthful food choices.

“Our partnerships with ‘The Biggest Loser’ television show, Pound for Pound Challenge and members of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota now offer an unprecedented opportunity for all Minnesotans,” says Rick Kupchella, partner, Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. “We hope all members of the Elk River community will join the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge for some healthy competition.”

Anyone who lives or works in the state of Minnesota can create or join a team with coworkers, friends or family members to compete in the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge.

Registration began Jan. 12 at and the Minnesota Challenge runs Jan. 24 through April 15, 2011.

During the Minnesota Challenge, teams will log in to track their healthy behaviors and compete for real-time online rankings against other teams throughout Minnesota. Participants must be 18 years or older.

There is no cost to participate in the Minnesota Challenge. Learn more about competing in the Minnesota Challenge at

Learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota at

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