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Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Healthy Revolution

Healthy Initiatives are everywhere.

First Lady Michelle Obama launched a very ambitious program to end childhood obesity in a single generation when she formally announced her Let’s Move campaign. Interestingly, she announced this program on Good Morning America on February 9 – the very same day I wrote about my company’s Healthy Living Initiative! An interesting coincidence that I just discovered.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which airs on ABC-TV on Friday nights, has caused quite a stir, as the passionate and sometimes abrasive English chef chronicles his attempt to change the eating habits of a West Virginia city. (As of this morning, more than 275,000 have signed Jamie Oliver’s online petition to change the way America eats!) Go Jamie!

And, right here at Frieda’s we're making small steps toward changing the lives of our employees (and their families) with our Healthy Living Initiative. Here is a quick progress report:

Thirty-two of our employees voluntarily signed up for the Biggest Loser – Frieda’s style. In groups of four people (two women and two men), we step onto the big produce scale in our warehouse every Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. to see how much we’ve lost.

After only five weeks, these 32 people have dropped a total of 148 pounds! Yes, I realize that this is only about 1 pound per person, per week, but all the health authorities I know say that is the PERFECT rate of weight loss.

But, what the scale doesn’t show are these things:

We have 32 ambassadors for company health, who are constantly sharing their enthusiasm with everyone. More employees are now walking during their breaks and lunch hours. We have also re-launched company-wide stretching breaks each day, so that employees get warmed up for their day and eliminate stiffness and injuries.

All the “bad” snacks and sugary drinks have been removed from our vending machines. Next month, by popular request of all employees, we have a local health authority coming in to speak about diabetes and how to deal with it through exercise and healthy eating. We are holding this 30-minutes class in both Spanish and English, so all our employees can participate.

The buzz in the company is enthusiastic and team-oriented. And it was so easy to implement. Even my 16-year-old daughter, Sophia, when writing our grocery shopping list last week, wrote “any other foods that are good for me.” That was a nice surprise to see.

So, what is stopping you from launching your own Healthy Living Initiative at your place of work or in your home? It is not that difficult. And if you’ve been inspired to launch one – I would love to hear from you!

Here’s to YOUR good health!



  1. Karen -

    What a great iniative! Congrats to your team on the weigh loss! 1 lb a week is perfect! Keep up the good work and let us know the final outcome!

  2. Your blog is terrific! Congratulations on installing the diabetes info/health info/food info at work! The company is a great role model for others!
    I am hosting the first Kilby Diabetes show, beaming it back into Texas on May 13, from UCLA, with Dan Kaufman, whose research has culminated in the first vaccine in history for Type I Diabetes! And in October, I will be joined by Fran Kaufman, former Pres of American Diabetes Assn in a discussion on Type II Diabetes, and in December, I will host a Kitchen based cooking show with a hot chef on Cooking for Diabetics an Everyone Else for the Holidays........
    You are so right to put it into action! That is the difference!

  3. Great blog! I think it is great how Freidas is promoting good health through a healthy diet and excersice. I have recently been to a few other food manufacturing companies that also promote similar things. With obesity on the rise, more companies need to become involved in these type of programs. I also think its great how your employees have lost about 1 lb/person a week. By no means should someone feel obligated to loose the amount of weight that the "biggest losers" do, but to loose weight in a safe way that will stay off! Way to go!


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