The Fit City Coalition has a magic number for its 2014 challenge: 5,210. They hope to either recruit 5,210 East Texans into its newest weight loss challenge or garner a combined weight loss of 5,210 pounds.
The 5-2-1-0 represents another initiative of the Fit City Challenge, which encourages East Texas children to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, limit screen time to two hours, get one hour of physical activity and drink zero sugary beverages each day.
Coalition members met Thursday to discuss the details of the group’s second weight-loss challenge, which encourages participants to lose at least 5 percent of their body weight for a chance to not only get healthy, but to also win a new car.
The group will be using the previous contest as a model but will expand their reach to more East Texas counties.
This time, they are teaming up with Broadway Square Mall. An event will be held Jan. 10-11 at the mall, with weigh-ins from 5-8 p.m. on Jan. 10 and a health fair event with booths set up throughout the mall from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Jan. 11. Registration tables and scales will be placed at several areas of the mall, including near J.C. Penny. Participants will be eligible for door prizes each day.
There will be a follow-up wellness fair Feb. 1, which will also present people another opportunity to weigh in.
Last November, 3,197 people weighed in for the first contest. There were 578 individuals weighing out, with a return rate of 18.08 percent. Overall, participants lost 4,321.65 pounds. Of those weighing out, 473, or 81.8 percent, recorded a weight loss.
“We believe we’re going to do better this year,” said Dave Berry, a Fit City coalition steering committee member.
An awards ceremony will be held next summer. Allen Samuels will again provide the contest’s grand prize - a 2014 Dodge Dart. Other grand prizes include four $1,000 gift cards donated by Brookshire’s.
This time, those who do not lose at least 5 percent of their weight still have a chance to win smaller prizes. Also new this time, teams are limited to five people. And instead of handing out T-shirts, participants will receive a Fit City Challenge wristband.
Coalition members said volunteers are needed to help with registration cards and weighing participants in.
Weighing in locations will be in nearly every county in the Northeast Texas Health District’s 4/5 North coverage area. While encouraged to, participants do not have to weigh out at the same location they weighed in.
The Fit City Challenge was established in 2010 to address and educate East Texans about the impact of obesity. For updates and complete contest rules, follow @FitCityTyler on Twitter, or visitwww.lightenupeasttexas.com orwww.facebook.com/LightenUpEastTexas .