Louisiana hospitals tackling obesity issue with competition

Sixty-six Louisiana hospitals have signed onto a statewide weight loss competition over the next six months to try to put a dent in Louisiana’s problem with obesity, by some measures the worst in the nation.

The Louisiana Hospital Association, which is organizing the Geaux Lite Challenge, announced the effort at a news conference Tuesday.

The participating hospitals are forming teams made up of staff, family members, individuals and community partners who will compete to lose weight and get healthy.

Winning teams and individuals will win awards. Top weight-shedding men and women will each win $1,000 gift card. The goal is to lose collectively 200 tons, 400,000 pounds, statewide by April 1.

Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert, at the news conference, noted that healthcare workers care for patients.

“The Geaux Lite Challenge sends the message that we care about the health of our healthcare workers too,” Kliebert said.