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posted: 12/2/2013 6:00 AM

Community teams to also join weight-loss challenge

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The Fittest Loser is not just for the lucky contestants who get chosen for the competition. For the second year, the Daily Herald is sponsoring the Fittest Loser Community Challenge.

Working with local park districts and Alexian Brothers Health System, 30 teams of five participants will be eligible to enter the competition. Teams must work with local park districts to come up with fitness and weight-loss plans for their individual team or teams. Alexian Brothers Health Systems will offer free before and after health screenings for all of the participants.

Last year, 18 teams lost a collective 1,180 pounds, with the winning team -- the Schaumburg Park District -- losing 15 percent of its collective body weight. Not only that, two individuals from different teams each lost more than 20 percent of their body weight.

"Alexian Brothers Health System is very excited to be a part of the Daily Herald's Fittest Loser contest," said Sara Odland-Beyna, community relations manager for the hospital network.

"The purpose of this program is so closely aligned with our mission of providing quality health and wellness opportunities to the communities we serve."

The team with the most points will earn a contribution to their local park district foundation, as well as individual prizes valued at more than $100.

The teams will be judged on three criteria:

• Total percentage of weight loss as a team.

• Team participation in Fittest Loser Community Challenge events and programs.

• Team spirit, to be judged by online voting and Facebook participation.

If you want to form a team, you need to work with your local park district.

The program will run February through April, with the initial weigh-in and health consultation scheduled for January (dates to be announced) at the Daily Herald office center, 155 E. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights. The health screenings to be performed by Alexian Brothers community nurses include: osteoporosis, blood pressure, body fat, cholesterol (nonfasting, finger stick) and stroke risk assessment.

To register a team, contact your local park district or visit

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