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Search for New Zealand’s best weight loss story


MEDIA RELEASE

June 2010

Search for New Zealand’s best weight loss story

Entries open for the Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards

Weight Watchers is looking for New Zealand’s most amazing weight loss transformation story with the official opening of the 2010 Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards.

The Awards are open to anyone who has lost weight following the Weight Watchers program to be within a healthy weight range (BMI) and community projects aimed at encouraging healthier lifestyles.

The individual winner will receive a week for two at the Golden Door Health Retreat on the Gold Coast (Qld) or Hunter Valley (NSW) in Australia, by entering at www.healthylifeawards.co.nz.

Weight Watchers spokeswoman Clair Cameron said there were many dramatic and life changing stories to be told and the competition was about celebration and reward for New Zealanders who have turned their lives around by embracing a healthier lifestyle.

“Since 2004, New Zealand entrants have lost almost 21,000 kilograms through this competition. They are an inspiration to all Kiwis seeking to tilt the scales and kick start their journey to a healthier lifestyle,” Ms Cameron said.

“One in three New Zealanders is currently overweight[1] and obesity-related disease rates are on the rise and as the leading weight management support system, it is our responsibility to encourage and support New Zealanders to embrace a healthier lifestyle in all walks of life.

“We have awards for individuals, families and workplaces that recognise the efforts being made across the country to improve the health and lifestyles of all people.

Current Healthy Life Awards winner Catherine Jackson, 38, said her decision to lose 40 kilograms means she now feels comfortable raising the issue of obesity and health with overweight patients in her role as a doctor in the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland.

“Being a doctor made me more aware of my health and I felt awkward discussing obesity and health with my patients given my own weight issues,” Catherine said.

“I am more confident now, but perhaps more importantly, I have an understanding of what my overweight patients have been through and feel much more confident discussing the issue. 2

“I feel tremendously proud of my achievement and I look forward to sharing my positive lifestyle changes with my family, patients and colleagues. I think the most exciting task ahead is my role as a Weight Watchers ambassador and helping inspire others to turn their own lives around.”

The individual winner will receive a week’s holiday for two to the Golden Door Health Retreat, as well as a makeover - including hair by Joh Bailey, makeup by Napoleon and a new wardrobe fitted by Events Clothing. They will also take part in an exclusive Weight Watchers magazine photo shoot and appear on Channel 7’s Today Tonight.

As a Platinum Partner of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF), Weight Watchers is donating $1 for each kilogram lost by this year’s entrants to breast cancer research.

“Even a 5 per cent weight loss can lead to significant health improvements, and we see our donation to the NZBCF as representative of some of the health-related cost-savings our members can look forward to thanks to their weight loss,” Ms Cameron said.

Healthy Life Award ambassador, former Olympian and Weight Watchers Life Time Member Melinda Gainsford-Taylor will announce the national winners at a gala dinner in Sydney in November.

For more information and to enter the Awards go to www.healthylifeawards.co.nz or call 0800 009 009

ENDS

1 Ministry of Health. 2009 Obesity http://www.moh.govt.nz/obesity

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