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First phase of the Challenge open to pre-registered companies and constituencies as HPB aims to motivate Singapore residents to lose one million kilogrammes by 2016

Singapore, 17 January 2014 – The Health Promotion Board (HPB) has launched the first phase of the One Million KG Challenge, which aims to motivate Singapore residents to achieve and manage healthy body weight, and to collectively lose one million kilogrammes.

Rising obesity trend in Singapore

Currently, 65% of the world's population live in countries where being overweight and obesity1 kills more people than being underweight does2.

HPB’s 2010 National Health Survey showed that 11 per cent of Singaporean adults aged between 18 to 69 years were obese, as compared to 7 per cent in 2004. Singapore’s obesity rate is also increasing at approximately one per cent per year. With the One Million KG Challenge, HPB aims to slow down this rate of increase for obesity and to raise awareness of the importance of long term healthy weight management.

The One Million KG Challenge

The first phase of the Challenge is expected to reach approximately 30,000 Singapore residents through roadshows at 17 organisations and constituencies which have expressed early interest and pre-registered for the Challenge from 17 January 2014 onwards. During the road shows, employees and residents of these pre-registered organisations and constituencies will be able to sign up for the Challenge.

Mr Zee Yoong Kang, Chief Executive Officer of HPB, said, “Enabling healthy living requires simple reinforcement to encourage behavioural change; this can be a powerful mechanism to encourage action in tandem with supportive environments. Cities like Shanghai, Dubai and Taiwan have implemented incentive-based national weight management initiatives and have seen successful weight loss among participants. HPB is taking this one step further by providing tools to support participants to make weight management an integral part of their lifestyles.”

To help participants sustain their healthy weight management efforts, HPB will provide them with a combination of self-monitoring tools, resources and access to programmes. HPB will also leverage online tools and the HPB Health Ambassador Network to increase peer-to-peer networking and support. Participants of the Challenge will receive a starter kit and a “pixel” that they could redeem for a prize to kick off their weight management journey. Participants will also receive a “pixel” every month when they weigh-in at any of the Wellness Kiosks around Singapore and when they participate in a variety of activities that help them in monitoring and maintaining their weight. In addition, participants who have persevered in their weight management efforts will get to win top prizes such as a car, a holiday package and shopping vouchers in the Grand Draw to be held in October 2014.

The One Million KG Challenge is open to Singapore residents between the ages of 18 to 64 whose Body Mass Index (BMI) ranges from 18.5 to 37.4. Singapore residents whose BMI fall between 23 and 37.4 could pledge to lose three kg at one go in the Challenge. For those whose BMI fall in the 18.5 to 22.9 range, they could participate in the Challenge to maintain their weight.

Part of the Healthy Living Master Plan Roadmap (HLMP)

As one of the initiatives of HLMP, the Challenge uses a two-pronged approach of providing incentives and creating the necessary supportive ecosystem to help participants achieve healthy weight management. Set in the community and workplaces where people live, work and play, it seeks to motivate and engage people through fun and friendly activities coupled with incentives.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Chairperson of the HLMP Task Force said, “With the HLMP, we envision Singaporeans having easy access to a healthy lifestyle in the workplace and in the community. Environments with easily available and affordable healthier options play a role in shaping people’s choices, enabling them to make the healthier choice. Through the creation of such a supportive environment, a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight management can be sustained, and obesity can be largely preventable.”

From March 2014 onwards, registration will be open to Singapore residents to participate in the Challenge at roadshows across Singapore and at the Challenge portal.

Issued by Health Promotion Board