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Parsippany Takes Top Honors in New Jersey's First-Ever Toxic Waistlines Contest
Date:7/9/2009

PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Parsippany took top honors in the state's first-ever 100-day "Toxic Waistlines" Contest, which began on March 1st and ended on June 2nd. With participating residents losing an average of 4.167 inches off their waist lines and a combined 494.9 pounds, Parsippany was presented with a plaque and Morris County bragging rights over 13 other participating communities.

Residents throughout northern and central New Jersey also participated on an individual basis, competing to see who could lose the most percentage of weight during the 100 days. Individual honors of Whole Foods Market gift cards and a $1,000 check went to:

  • Robert Zanfino (Lincoln Park) who lost 28% (54.5 lbs) and 13 inches off his waist line
  • Roberta Waffenfeld (Parsippany) who lost 24% (52 lbs) and 9 inches off her waist line
  • Susan Graziano (Parsippany) who lost 20% (36.4 lbs) and 5.5 inches off her waist line

In total, the 14 participating communities collectively lost 622.25 inches off their waistlines and 2,617.56 pounds. A total of 264 individuals participated in the competition.

"This has been a fun way to promote community fitness and we could not be more pleased with the results," said Emily Littman, Director of the Mayors Wellness Campaign. "The fourteen towns that participated really stepped up and we were astounded by the number of individuals who decided to take control of their lives and join the Toxic Waistlines competition."

Parsippany Mayor Michael Luther added, "I am proud of our town. Our residents really worked hard to achieve this well-deserved honor. Healthy lifestyles and community fitness are important elements to the well being of any town."

"This proves once again that when people are given the right tools and the right motivation, they will take control of their health," said David Knowlton, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI), the sponsoring agency of the Mayors Wellness Campaign. "We could not be more pleased with the results - not just for the winners, but for every town and every individual which made the decision to do something to better their health."

The "Toxic Waistlines" contest was a 100-day challenge that kicked off on March 1st, "National Nutrition Month," and ended on June 2nd, the beginning of "Great Outdoors Month." Sponsored by the National Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance (www.stopobesityalliance.org) and the Mayors Wellness Campaign (www.mayorswellnesscampaign.org), the contest was open to municipalities in Morris County.

Participants were urged to consult their doctor before participating in any exercise program and were assisted by Toxicwaistlines.org, an interactive website, where participants could retrieve healthy recipes, nutritional information, and learn of events in their municipalities.

Each of the municipalities participating in the "Toxic Waistlines" contest received all the tools they needed to operate the program, including a scale and tape measure for weigh-ins and weigh-outs, information from the official website using "weblog" for tracking progress and sharing diet and exercise ideas, and support from a registered nutritionist from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey.

The fourteen municipalities participating in the "Toxic Waistlines" contest were Boonton, Chatham, Denville, Lincoln Park, Long Hill, Madison, Mine Hill, Montville, Morris Plains, Mount Arlington, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Pequannock, Washington, and Wharton. Each community also received a $500 grant for participating in the program.

About the Mayors Wellness Campaign

The MWC is an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Through public-private partnerships, the MWC provides structure and resources for healthy community initiatives, with a long-term goal of reducing health care and other costs secondary to obesity and inactivity. The MWC supports mayors as champions of community health. By encouraging mayors to play a leadership role in supporting local opportunities for active, healthy lifestyles, the intent of the MWC is to improve health and make New Jersey a national leader in community-based health interventions. Currently, more than half of the New Jersey's 566 municipalities are participating in the campaign and are working aggressively to decrease obesity rates and increase the overall health of their communities.

About the STOP Obesity Alliance

The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance is a collaboration of consumer, provider, government, labor, business, health insurers, and quality-of-care organizations united to drive innovative and practical strategies that combat obesity. The Alliance is sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry with a commitment to improving public health and a heritage in therapeutic areas including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

CONTACT: Emily Littman at 609-393-4931 or Donald Sico at 856-314-8066


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SOURCE Mayors Wellness Campaign
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