Blue Cross Blue Shield's Win by Losing weight-loss challenge helps Michigan shed "three elephants" in three years

Award-winning program's spring sixth season adds 11,000 pounds to total 40,000 pound weight loss

May 8, 2012

DETROIT — Completing its sixth round, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Win by Losing program has helped employees from businesses across the state lose more than 40,000 pounds since the fall of 2009, adding 11,300 pounds to the total over this nine-week season. The 40,000 total weight loss is equivalent to the weight of three elephants.

This Blues initiated, award-winning program has given workplace wellness bragging rights to companies all across Michigan. Winners are determined by total percentage of weight lost. Spring 2012 champions are as follows:

  • Manthei, Inc, Petoskey, Michigan, 10 and under participating employees, lost 108.0 pounds
  • KorthaseFlinn Insurance and Financial Services, Boyne City, Michigan, 11-29 participating employees, lost 116.7 pounds
  • Sunset Association, Jenison, Michigan, 30-59 participating employees, lost 430.5 pounds
  • Magna Interior Trim Components, St. Clair and Detroit, Michigan, 60 or more participating employees, lost 821.5 pounds

“Extra fat and weight on the body impacts every organ. It puts you in greater risk for heart attack or stroke and is linked to causing diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer,” says Grace Derocha, BCBSM health coach and registered dietician. “Additional weight is also bad for sleeping habits, increases the chance of sleep apnea, risk for decreased bone density where osteopenia and osteoporosis can occur. Overweightedness can severely affect joints, from your neck and shoulders all the way down your back, hips, knees and ankles.”

According to Derocha, with weight loss of only 5-10% of your body weight, no matter what a person’s weigh, chronic conditions can be prevented, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Participating companies are given access to free tools that assist with healthy meal planning, exercise, and more. Season seven will begin this fall, starting August 27 and will run through October 26.

Throughout the month of May, BCBSM is encouraging Michigan to “stop the slump” and get active by changing a habit in recognition of May employee health and wellness month. In addition to Win by Losing, the Blues offer numerous programs to help lead Michigan residents to a healthier future:

  • Building Healthy Communities: A comprehensive, school-wide childhood obesity prevention program led by the Center for School Health in the College of Education at Wayne State University. The Building Healthy Communities partners share a core commitment to decreasing the risk and incidence of childhood obesity, especially in Michigan's low-income urban areas.

  • Blue Health Connection: Provides dedicated health support to help Blues members be their healthiest, whatever their health status.

  • Resources to help Michigan make better decisions about diet and exercise, as well as information on creating and sustaining nurturing communities and successful businesses.

  • Healthy Blue Xtras: A program that offers big savings and special discounts to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members. Enjoy exclusive savings on healthy products and services from groceries to fitness gear and travel from companies across the great state of Michigan.

Learn more about creating a healthy workplace and workforce by visiting To register for season seven beginning this fall, BCBSM customers can visit the Win by Losing website and, once registered, are encouraged to use the tools available throughout the competition. There is no registration fee to enter, and all details can be managed online. For more information about Win by Losing, visit

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

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