For Immediate Release
December 17, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Teams begin registering today for the Governor's Weight Loss Challenge

Governor Brownback and Lt. Governor Colyer announce their teams

Topeka - Teams can begin registering today in the Kansas Governor’s Weight Loss Challenge. Registration closes Jan. 14, with the competition scheduled to run from Jan. 15 to May 15, 2013.

Governor Sam Brownback recently challenged State of Kansas (SOK) employees and other interested groups to form teams of five, to start eating healthier and to become more active in an effort to lose a greater percentage of weight than the Governor’s team of five.

Gov. Brownback announced today his team will include Transportation Sec. Mike King, Acting Labor Sec. Lana Gordon, Commerce Sec. Pat George and Kansas Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli.

“Four members of my Cabinet have decided to take this challenge with me. I want to thank them for their commitment to a healthier Kansas, to reducing obesity in our state,” Gov. Brownback said. “The we are challenging other teams to lose the greatest percentage of weight in four months. Though prizes will be awarded to the winning teams, ultimately the goal is to feel healthier in the end.” 

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., will captain a team with Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan; KDHE Division of Health Care Finance Director Kari Bruffett; Budget Director Steve Anderson and Governor’s Chief of Staff Landon Fulmer.

Kansas organizations, companies and local governments are encouraged to promote the challenge with their employees and members; however, only SOK employees are eligible for the prizes to be awarded by the Governor. State employees who are members of the first- and second-place teams will win cash prizes, and all SOK teams (not including 1st and 2nd place) that lose a  higher percentage weight than the Governor’s team will be in a drawing for additional prizes.

Already, officials in Anderson and Johnson counties are encouraging their employees and residents to participate in the Challenge. These two counties have announced that they will accept the Governor’s weight-loss challenge and offer prizes at the local level. “This is great news; I hope to see other employers promote the challenge and get more Kansans involved,” Gov. Brownback said.

Official contest rules and the tracking system are at www.weightloss.ks.gov. The starting weight for all participants will be validated by a health care professional—nurse, doctor, physician assistant, etc.—through the use of a simple form available on the Challenge website. Weight is entered into the system privately by the individual and is combined with the team’s weight to be tracked collectively.