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November 6th, 2008
02:57 PM ET

How we lost 4 million pounds while feeding the hungry

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.fond.du.lac.jpg caption="For every pound lost by Weight Watchers between Sept. 7th and Oct. 18, the equivalent of one pound of food will be donated to Share Our Strength or Action Against Hunger."]David Kirchhoff
CEO, Weight Watchers International

We live in such an unusual time, given that so many people are struggling to get enough to eat, and yet obesity is a major health care issue around the world. Just look at these two statistics: 862 million people are underfed, and1.6 billion people are overweight or obese. What a startling imbalance.

To contribute to righting this imbalance, we announced Lose for Good a couple of months ago, a new challenge to Weight Watchers Members to band together and invest in their own health while helping a neighbor in need.

The goal was simple: For every pound lost by Weight Watchers between Sept. 7th and Oct. 18, we would donate the equivalent of one pound of food, up to a million dollars, to Share Our Strength or Action Against Hunger. In addition, our members and staff could contribute food locally to those who are having a hard time making ends meet.

When we started planning earlier this year, it seemed a compelling way to motivate our members and do something good for the community. As the economy started to deteriorate, food banks started to get hit pretty hard with decreased donations and increased demand. Suddenly, Lose For Good began to feel more than just compelling. It became a call to action.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • David Kirchhoff • Food crisis • Health Care