ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 1 (UPI) -- Employees of a Rochester, N.Y., firm have lost a ton of weight -- actually 2,093 pounds to be exact, company officials said.
As part of an overall wellness initiative that includes smoking cessation, stress management, nutrition education and a health fair, North American Breweries began a company-wide weight loss challenge last January for employees divided into teams of four.
Members of a team named Weapons of Mass Reduction lost 15.2 percent of their total body weight, while 11 teams won prizes and 31 individuals shed more than 6 percent of their body weight. Collectively, their losses totaled 2,093 pounds.
The weight loss will help improve the health of the employees, reduce healthcare costs for the company and help those in Haiti affected by a devastating earthquake that hit the country in January.
For every 1 pound of weight lost, the company donated $5 to the American Red Cross for a total contribution of more than $11,000, after employees contributed as well.
"Working together to improve our health has helped to boost morale and healthy competition among employees," Bill Neilson, vice president of people and management systems at North American Breweries, said in a statement.