USF students can shed pounds for the hungry

The more you lose, the more you gain. That is the sentiment behind USF’s newest initiative to promote healthy living.

USF’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) is partnering with the Wellness Center and Campus Recreation to help students participate in the ‘Biggest Loser Pound for Pound Challenge,’ a’six-week program modeled after NBC’s weight-loss television show.

Students can register and weigh in for the challenge today in Marshall Student Center Room 3708 from 9 a.m.’to 3 p.m.

The program, which promotes wellness and healthy’weight loss, will donate 14 cents – the amount it costs to pay for one pound of food – for every pound lost in the challenge, said Associate Director for CLCE Melissa Alvarez.

Food will be provided by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charity.’ The food collected based on an individual’s weight loss will be delivered to a local food bank in his or her’community.

Feeding America will donate a maximum of $800,000 worth of food at each location.

During the program, CLCE volunteers will check in with participants on a weekly or biweekly basis to monitor their progress and’provide health tips.

Participants will be weighed privately and have their’body-mass indexes calculated upon registration, Alvarez said. They will also receive resource packets informing them of the many different ways to improve their health.

The challenge is free and open to the campus and local community. Alvarez said’participants can set their weight loss goals on the program’s Web site:

Anne Friesel, fitness coordinator for the Campus Recreation Center, said the challenge will incorporate new fitness programs as well as existing resources on campus.

Those programs include’30-minute outdoor boot camps, ‘Fitness Frenzy’ workouts and weekly walking groups around campus.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, over one-third of U.S. adults and 16 percent of U.S. children are obese – a number that has doubled for adults and tripled for children’since 1980.

One in eight Americans’suffer from hunger and food insecurity, according to Feeding America’s Web site.

‘We’re participating in this because it’s not only an’incentive to do well for yourself by eating right and exercising, but also to do and give for’somebody else who is in need.’ Alvarez said.