SAN ANTONIO — H-E-B on Monday announced that its annual H-E-B Slim Down Showdown presented by Dole awarded $18,000 on Saturday to three contestants who made the greatest gains in health improvement and fan engagement over a three-month period.
Hailing from all across Texas, the 25 contestants in this year’s showdown lost more than 700 pounds and showed off their healthier frames to hundreds of cheering supporters in an emotional makeover reveal ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Saturday. In addition to weight loss, the contestants significantly improved their health biometrics and penned 990 blogs, generating 38,636 comments and hundreds of thousands of page views.
H-E-B determined the grand prize winner using three metrics — overall health improvement, participation and fan engagement.
Grand-prize winner Brittany Ward, an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, lost 34 pounds, dropped her cholesterol by 62 points and attracted 6,308 comments on her blog. She was awarded $10,000.
“This [contest] was more than I ever thought it would be,” Ward stated. “Change is possible when you commit. We’ve got to change the world. We’ve got to start putting our health first.”
The contest began in January with a five-and-a-half day wellness program in San Antonio featuring experts from H-E-B, Methodist Healthcare and Cooper Aerobics. Contestants received a full medical screening to understand their current health status, met individually with nutrition and fitness experts and bonded with their fellow contestants.
H-E-B first introduced the Slim Down Showdown to its Partners in 2010 as part of Healthy at H-E-B, a comprehensive, long-term commitment to improve the health of Texans and provide them with fresh, healthy food that is affordable and easy to prepare. H-E-B aims to inspire millions of Texans to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle through special offers on healthy food as well as fitness events and competitions organized around the three critical pillars of health — food, body and life.