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OUS hosting weight-loss challenge for students

Lose some weight and donate to two good causes.

The students and staff at the southern campus of Ohio University have the opportunity to do just that over the coming weeks. The Wellness Committee at OUS is hosting the Bobcats Battle of the Bulge 2010.

The challenge will be to lose one pound each week. If the goal is not met, the participant will pay $1.

An entry fee of $5 will also be collected. At the end of the 10-week challenge, the person with the biggest weight-loss will get half the money, while the other half will be split between the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the OUS March for Babies.

Losing weight is easier when there is accountability, said Molly Johnson, a nursing professor and one of the event’s organizers.

“Weight loss is always more fun when you have a support system,” she said.

Johnson said that her nursing students should set an example for the rest of the campus.

“We need to be role models,” she said. “It’s not about weight loss but about healthy eating.”

Obesity is not a problem not only in the country as a whole, but also locally, Johnson said.

“I think it’s a problem everywhere in our country,” she said.

Nursing students particularly could have problems because they constantly are sitting while they study for classes, she said. Professors, too, are constantly sitting for their jobs.

“I think this is going to be a good step to get people moving,” she said.

The challenge kicked off Wednesday with an initial weigh-in. Each week following the participants will weigh-in with Johnson or Nicole Pennington, a fellow nursing professor at OUS.

The weigh-ins will be in a private room.

“Nobody’s weight will be public,” Johnson said.

So far there has been interest from both students and staff.

“I think it’s going to be a good mix of both,” Johnson said.

Faculty member Miki Crawford initially did not like the idea of the weigh loss challenge. “I couldn’t stand the thought of giving that dollar if I didn’t lose for the week,” she said, adding that she was more concerned with admitting that she did not lose weight rather than losing a buck.

But the associate professor of communications, who was planning on dieting anyway, decided that same thought she could not stand would actually motivate her to lose weight.

“I thought, maybe that would motivate me to lose the weight,” she said.