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Male attendant at Hope Institute Hospital wins NHF ‘Work It Out’ Challenge Competition (Source: Jamaica Information Service)

Male attendant at Hope Institute Hospital wins NHF ‘Work It Out’ Challenge Competition (Source: Jamaica Information Service)


Denton Anderson, a male attendant at the Hope Institute Hospital, in Kingston, was the biggest winner in the 2015 National Health Fund (NHF) ‘Work It Out’ challenge competition.

For losing a total of 44.7 pounds in the recently concluded seventh staging of the 24- week weight loss contest, he won the first prize in the individual competition as well as the award for the ‘5 Star General’, which was awarded to the male in the competition with the highest number of points, including the amount of weight lost.

Mr. Anderson’s team from the Hope Institute was also the overall winner in the competition.

After much prodding from friends and family as well as his own feelings of discomfort, he decided to enter the competition, as he was tipping the scales at 237 pounds.

After a successful run, he is now proudly down to 179 pounds, having continued to lose weight after the official weigh-in, which took place in October.

“I don’t want to go back where I am coming from. It is not good to have so much weight, because walking for a distance and having shortness of breath is not good. It is not good for a person to be so overweight. My body mass index (BMI), which was 33.0 came down to 26.5 and the index fat came down from 48.7 to 19.8,” he tells JIS News.

According to the winner, he used the workouts at the gym, exercise, including push-ups, abdominals and aerobics, running and playing football on the beach to help lose the weight.

“I do other things to burn fat. For instance, I make juices that I use to help me burn the calories like tomato, sweet pepper with ginger. I use cucumber, callaloo with ginger, no sugar added and I eat a lot of raw peanuts. I also use the sweet potato with pine and make juices. It is a good source of fibre,” Mr. Anderson says.

He adds that he stays away from starchy foods like rice and banana, yam, Irish potato, and his meals are very small.

The male attendant explains that before losing the weight, he would feel pressure on his feet when standing, a problem he no longer has.

Mr. Anderson says his family is overwhelmed with the weight loss, because they have been telling him to do it for a long time, for his own health and safety.

Team leader, Annette Chambers-Grossett, Administrative Assistant to the Senior Medical Officer at Hope Institute, informs that the team lost a combined total of over 140 pounds.

“We went to all of the group meetings that they (NHF) had and the exercise sessions. We did activities separately, such as going to the gym and the water workout at Emancipation Park and sometimes we would work out together at the workplace,” she notes.

She points out that each member had individual diets and hers largely consisted of fruits, vegetables and a lot of water. She tries to consume one gallon of water per day and for her efforts, she lost approximately 16 pounds.

Mrs. Chambers-Grossett first learned about the NHF competition two years ago and she gathered a team and they entered. They did not win then, but were determined to come back this year and take the top prize home.

So inspiring were their efforts, she says, that one doctor, though too late in his plan to enter the competition, trained with the team and lost over 90 pounds. She rues the fact that he was not able to contribute to the team’s weight loss numbers, having not registered with the team at the outset, but lauds his efforts and attributes that success to the dedication of the team.

She notes that co-workers were very helpful in the process, and that if someone realised that one of them was cheating on the programme, it was widely published and the offender would be exposed all in good fun. She adds that family members of the team were very supportive of the competitors and encouraged them to stick to their regimes.

Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Everton Anderson, says that in working to make the competition better, continuous improvement has been the mantra of his agency and that adjustments have been made to this year’s programme, based on focus group discussions.

“We not only measured changes in BMI, but also changes in waist circumference and body fat. We offered more exercise sessions, reintroduced the midpoint weigh-in and kept in touch using many SMS messages and emails,” he explains.

Winners of the competition walked away with over $400,000 in prizes at an awards ceremony on November 30, at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

The contest encourages individuals to change their lifestyles to achieve a healthier mind and body and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. It measures changes in BMI, body fat, waist circumference and participation in exercise and nutrition sessions held throughout the competition.

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