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Weight-loss contest puts the focus on teamwork

At least, that's the thought Tiger Institute sales executive Shelley Naydyhor left me with after she dropped by the newsroom last week to tell me what was, at the time, the latest from the Columbia Sl...


At least, that's the thought Tiger Institute sales executive Shelley Naydyhor left me with after she dropped by the newsroom last week to tell me what was, at the time, the latest from the Columbia Slimdown Challenge.

On its surface, the Slimdown Challenge, which ended Wednesday, was a weight-loss competition.

But Naydyhor said Tiger Institute's goal was to give participants the motivation and the means to take ownership of their health. To make this happen, Tiger Institute got several local fitness and nutrition businesses on board to offer participants services for free or at reduced rates.

Bariatric Surgery

Additionally, the contest ran three months, which meant participants had to form habits to meet their goals, not just go through the motions for a while.

Naydyhor acknowledges some criticism.

Weight Loss Surgery

"Some people felt" the contest was "unfair because they didn't need to lose weight. But maybe being part of a team would help motivate others," Naydyhor said.

And that, I thought, is a great point.

The Columbia Slimdown Challenge isn't Cerner Corp.'s first rodeo. The health care solutions firm has hosted similar competitions in Kansas City. One of the things participants in this challenge and others have liked, Naydyhor said, is the emphasis on working toward a goal as a team.

While interviewing some of the slimdown participants for this week's cover storyFree Web Content, many mentioned ways in which others picked up on some of their habits.

Monica Korba told me her family has taken on some of the habits she worked to cultivate during the challenge.

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