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Fresh Grocer Employees Take on Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

Based on the success of its pilot its Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge – during which one participant lost 44 pounds -- Philadelphia, Pa.-based The Fresh Grocer opened the program company-wide, and is already seeing tremendous results among its new participants.

The six month long Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge is a program designed in-house to help improve personal health and wellness of employees throughout the company. The grocer piloted its Fresh’ n Fit Challenge on the corporate level from September 2011 through February 2012 with a program broken down into three different categories encouraging associates to either lose weight, quit smoking or partake in a diet and exercise focused regimen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of American adults are overweight or obese, which increases risk factors for high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure and other serious health issues. As an organization committed to promoting the health and wellness of its customers, associates, and communities, The Fresh Grocer took the initiative to motivate and reward its employees for making healthy lifestyle improvements and lowering the threat of health risks.

The six month pilot showed highly successful results. In total, the 12 people who participated in the weight loss competition dropped over 150 lbs. The grand prize, an all expenses paid trip for two, went to front end supervisor Nancy Urbanski who lost a total of 44 pounds and 22 percent body weight.

Urbanski began the Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge at a CDC weight status of ‘overweight’ and ended the challenge with a ‘normal’ weight status. “Even without the prize for winning the challenge, the outcome has been well worth it!” Urbanski said,

The success of the Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge pilot inspired The Fresh Grocer to roll out the program to all store-level associates, modifying minor aspects to accommodate the significant amount of those participating. Competing employees were given a start-up kit including a pedometer, water bottle, a guide booklet and other supportive tools to jump start their program to improve personal health and wellness. The chain-wide Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge kicked off this January with over 100 associates weighing in.

In just two months the results have already proven impactful, with a total of 353 pounds lost from the participating associates. The success has provided positive reinforcement throughout the company and has encouraged non-participating employees to begin a new path to a more healthful lifestyle.

The store-level challenge will continue for another 3 months with the final weigh-ins scheduled for May 2012.

The Fresh Grocer specializes in providing high quality perishables in urban and suburban environments with seven stores operating in the Greater Philadelphia area.

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