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September 8, 2012

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Obesity watch: Lose weight, win big prizes

SHANGHAI'S fight against obesity has just turned into a contest and there are prizes to be won!

Residents are being urged to shed 3 kilograms in weight to win prizes worth up to 2,000 yuan each as part of a citywide campaign launched yesterday by local health authorities to encourage people to stay fit.

The campaign, the brainchild of the Shanghai Health Promotion Association and other city departments, is aimed at helping local residents lose a total of 100 tons of weight after a recent survey showed that up to 28.7 percent of adults in Shanghai were overweight and 6 percent suffered obesity,

The latest health survey, covering about 8,600 locals aged above 18, was released by the association last Friday. It showed that about 45 percent of adults in the city don't pay any attention to maintaining healthy weight.

According to the campaign organizers, residents aged between 15 and 65 can log on the campaign's website to test their BMI (body mass index), which is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on a person's weight and height.

Residents whose BMI is above 23, which indicates they are overweight, can refer to the website or go to 259 designated spots in the city to send their applications to join the campaign. The application process will end on September 29. Pregnant women and doctors are not allowed to join the campaign, organizers said.

According to the website, participants can test their weight again from January 5 to January 15 next year and those who lose 3 kilograms can each win prizes worth up to 2,000 yuan.

Organizers said participants can learn how to lose weight in a healthy way on the website.

"It's an interesting campaign that I will surely join to lose some weight, but I hope the organizers will hold some outdoor activities or teach me some exercises so I can fight obesity more easily," said a 49-year-old office worker.


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