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Ford Challenges Employees To 8-Week Weight Loss Goal

DEARBORN (WWJ) - Wayne County residents are among the state's most unhealthy. But, a number of the area's businesses are attempting to change that one-pound-at-a-time.

At Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, for example, 27 teams of employees are participating in an eight-week weight loss challenge.

Employee Benefits Manager Brian Rebits heads one the 27 employee teams. In the six weeks they have been in the challenge, his team has taken off a total of 80 pounds. They're goal is to lose 100 pounds.

The program is sponsored by Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan and offers a number of tools online. Teams also help one another with healthy exercise tips and recipes.

Rebits said it is easier to become more motivated once you see the pounds start to come off.

"Week after week of seeing our team's weight dropping and everyone feeling better, looking better, it really aligns with our corporate objectives for health and wellness because we want to have healthy employees. Healthy employees feel better, they're happier and they're more productive," Rebits said.

This is the second round of the Blue's Weight Loss Challenge. In round one, Ford Motor Company took first place.

Janet Kokenakes, Director of Health Care at Ford, said the program places a large focus on healthy eating, not just weight loss.  Since the challenge began, her team members have been a lot less likely to give in to that middle-of-the-night urge to binge on a candy bar.

"It is a little harder working together with your team, sneaking that candy bar. You know, when you eat your lunch together, you're together every day, we're encouraging each other to be healthy," Kokenakes said.

Kokenakes said they do confess to the team if they have fallen off the wagon. So far, her team has lost more than 80 pounds; just 20 pounds from their goal.

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