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Tyrone Hospital holds employee weight loss competition

The Nutrition Services department at Tyrone Hospital organized a weight loss competition for hospital employees to encourage healthy habits. The competition was kicked off during March in recognition of National Nutrition Month and concluded at the end of April.
Employees were invited to form weight loss teams and the winning team was determined by the total percentage of weight lost. To help them get started, Tyrone Hospital’s registered dietitian was available to meet with participants to offer healthy weight loss tips. Weekly weigh-ins were held and weekly results were posted to give weight loss participants and the rest of the Tyrone Hospital family an opportunity to monitor the teams’ progress.
Pete Byich, Director of Nutrition Services at Tyrone Hospital, said the competition was an opportunity for employees to work together and use their camaraderie to address a health issue.
“The event was a success because most all of the participants lost some weight and in the process received information about the importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity. People were serious about their weight loss goals, but they also had a lot of fun and brought some humor to the competition.”
There were more than 40 participants who comprised eight weight loss teams. The names the teams adopted were as colorful as the spirit they brought to the competition: The Flabby Gabbies, Groovy Money Makers, Bottom Feeders, Bankrupt Bellies, XXX-Ray, Fabulicious, Chunky Monkeys, and ProCare Pound Posse.
In the end, the collective weight lost by the teams was 324 pounds or .4 percent of the teams’ collective starting weight.
“Excess weight contributes to a variety of health problems,” said Linda Petrunak, R.D., registered dietitian at Tyrone Hospital. “All of the participants are winners because any amount of weight lost is a step in the direction of better health.”
The team with the greatest percentage of weight lost was the XXX-Ray comprised of employees from the hospital’s radiology department. The team’s initial weight was 910 pounds and their ending weight was 859 pounds or 5.4 percent less.
Terry Crouse, a member of the XXX-ray team said his involvement in the competition benefited not only him but his teenage daughter as well.
“She adopted healthier habits along with me and as a result she lost 17 pounds.” Crouse lost 21 pounds in the competition, the second largest amount lost by an individual.
Recognition was also extended to Ricky Smith, Housekeeping Supervisor. With a total weight loss of 32 pounds or 13.45 percent of his initial weight, he was the biggest individual loser.
“It was a great experience,” said Smith. “I learned that even making small changes can make a big difference. All I did was give up soda, drink more water, eat smaller portions, and exercise more.”
Byich said the hospital is grateful for the support received from the Northern Blair Recreation Center, LA Fitness in Tyrone, Metz & Associates, and ProCare Rehabilitation for sponsoring the weight loss event.
“We are already talking about plans to do the competition again next year,” said Byich. “We are even kicking around the idea of asking other local employers if they would like to coordinate an employee weight loss competition between organizations.”