Oct. 18, 2012
Since kicking off a weight-loss challenge this summer, city employees have lost almost 4,000 pounds using the Visual Eating and Exercise Program (VEEP).
More than 700 employees and their spouses are participating in VEEP, which is free as long as an individual participant loses 2 percent of his or her body weight each quarter. The Internet-based program teaches particpants how to assess food portions visually and to eat healthy even when dining out or on the go. The system does not rely on counting calories or measuring portions.
“The city is committed to doing anything we can to help our employees be healthier,” Deputy Human Resources Director Mary Kyle said. “Healthier employees mean increased productivity and decreased health care costs.”
No city funds are being used for VEEP.
“When we went out to bid for our health insurance, we built wellness dollars into our contracts with our vendors,” Kyle said.
VEEP spokesman Robert Reames, head trainer and nutritionist for “The Dr. Phil Show,” kicked off the Challenge in June and later returned to talk about the benefits of exercise.
The weight-loss challenge is part of the city’s comprehensive wellness program, which includes classes, flu shots, biometric screenings, health risk assessments, mobile mammography and prostate screenings.