Lucella King of Vieux Fort (Region 5) emerged the overall winner of the inaugural weight loss competition dubbed Pedi Gwes Sent Lisi, Bon Santé Pou Lavi organised by the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations. In second place was Zarella Philbert from Vieux Fort (Region 5) with third place going to Natalina Altius from Gros Islet (Region1). The prize for the winning region when to Region 5 (Vieux Fort) with participants loosing a combined 181 lbs.
The 3 month long competition commenced August 27th with 90 competitors from 9 health regions around the island. During the competition participants were engaged in a hike/walk to Moule A Chique, a last man standing Dance-A-Thon, a challenging obstacle course and 2 workshops which provided nutrition, meal proportioning and exercise tips to participants.
The final weigh-in on November 27th assessed not only participants overall weight loss but also tracked changes in their Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat percentage, visceral fat percentage (internal fat), muscle mass, and waist circumference.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Cointha Thomas indicated that Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCD’s) have reached epidemic proportions with nearly 36 millions people world wide dying from CNCD’s every year. What is striking she said is that these deaths are largely preventable.
“Indeed CNCD’s were altering demographics, stunting development, and impacting economic growth. This competition though small by comparison is a key event and an opportunity, when it takes root, will advance the protection of national vulnerable populations. Everyone has the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and I dare say it is everyone’s responsibility to help realize that right.” Thomas stated.
Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Hon. Alvina Reynolds congratulated participants stating that they are all winners as their hard work and determination to complete this competition is in itself a success.
“To you the participants, competitors, the Pedi Gwesers, you came, your registered, you got weighed, you attended sessions, you danced, you hiked, you walked and whined, you lifted weights what else did you do? What did you not do?
You had fun, you busted nuff sweat, you cooked better, you ate better, you drank more water. Let this be your way of life. Embrace this new life. You are all winners, you have all won better health.” Reynolds asserted.
In attendance was Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Ray Mou who presented nutrition booklets to each of the 9 participating regions. In offering remarks the Taiwanese Ambassador said he felt the happiness and joy of the participants and the friendships which were formed during the competition.
“Your loss is your gain..This is something we would like to share with our people in Taiwan, if the ladies here can do it we can do that too in my own country. So now we can see the result after the 124 scales.” Mou stated.
Prizes were also awarded to the Individual winners of the each region while special recognition was paid to Andre Felix, Fitness Instructor and Personal Training Coach, Sensi Timothy Francis 8th Dan Black Belt and Tennil Wolff of Zumba Fitness who worked with and motivated participants free of charge over the 3 month long competition.
The Ministry of Health hopes to make this Pedi Gwes Sent Lisi, Bon Sante Pou Lavi, Weight Loss Competition an annual event on its calendar of events.