Columbia University Medical Center And Newyork-Presbyterian Hospital Initiate Weight Loss Program For Employees To Fulfill New Year's Resolutions

January 7, 2004

WHAT: Kick-off events—including an opening ceremony and hour-long campus power walk— for “Be Fit to Be’ne’fit,” an outreach and awareness campaign designed to help employees stick to their New Year’s weight loss resolutions and make important dietary and fitness-related changes at work. Power walk participants will receive a light breakfast, a step counter, and the opportunity to win a free three-month membership at the NewYork-Presbyterian Employee Fitness Center. The first 100 entrants will also receive a free “Be Fit to Be’ne’fit” t-shirt. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center will work actively throughout the year to create a favorable work environment for healthy eating and exercise by upgrading campus facilities and attempting to incorporate good nutrition and physical fitness into every aspect of life at work (establishing easier points of access to stairs, giving out pedometers to employees, and posting nutrition information in cafeterias). WHEN & WHERE: OPENING CEREMONY Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 4:00 p.m. Milstein Hospital, 177 Fort Washington Avenue POWER WALK Thursday, January 8, 2004, 7:30 a.m. (registration begins at 7 a.m.) NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Garden Fort Washington Avenue between W.165th and W.168th streets WHO: Employees such as security personnel, administrative assistants, and healthcare workers who aim to lose weight. Medical experts scheduled to speak include: Dr. Marc Bessler, Director, Center for Obesity Surgery, Dr. Richard Deckelbaum, Director, Institute of Human Nutrition, Dr. Henry Ginsberg, Director, Irving Center for Clinical Research, Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Endocrinologist; and Dr. Robert Kelly, Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, Senior Associate Dean, Columbia University Medical Center.

WHY: According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight, with one-third of U.S. adults officially classified as obese. At the same time, an estimated 64 million Americans will make and break New Year’s resolutions by the end of 2004—with a substantial number of them losing the battle of the bulge for yet another year. Through “Be Fit to Be’ne’fit”, Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will help their employees defy the weight-loss odds, creating a healthier and happier workforce and serving as a model for other institutions and employers in the fight against obesity.

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Henry Ginsberg, Joseph Tenenbaum, Marc Bessler, Milstein Hospital, New Year, Robert Kelly, Xavier Pi Sunyer