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UGA Extension challenges Georgians to help keep holiday pounds off By J. Calvin Powell

Holidays can be a time of continuous feasts for some, leading to excess pounds when it’s all over. To ward off the unwanted weight, University of Georgia Extension offers the “Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge,” a free program that helps Georgians avoid the overeating usually so common to the season.

The challenge begins in mid November and ends Jan. 3. Participants will receive twice-weekly emails with advice and encouragement on how to avoid gaining additional pounds.

“Many people say that there’s so much temptation—it’s just one continuous feast,” said Connie Crawley, an Extension nutrition and health specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “And the food is so plentiful now that there are just so many options. The problem is, the more options you give people, the more they eat.”

Participants in the program sign up for the messages, which last year featured titles such as “Keeping an Eagle Eye on What You Consume,” “Curving Your Cravings” and “No Exercise, No Weight Control.”

In all, participants will receive 14 messages during the program. This year, Crawley has added a weekly low-calorie recipe.

“People said they liked having those reminders,” Crawley said. “It was like a little prompt that kept them on track. It wasn’t so much that they got new skills, it was that they got support.” Last year’s tips also archived on the site.

]Crawley said 57 percent of the people who participated in the post-program survey last year reported experiencing zero weight gain.

To sign up for the challenge, see 0026 blog.extension.uga.edu/zeroweightgain 385C

UGA Obesity Initiative

The University of Georgia launched a major campus-wide initiative in January 2012 to help the state address its growing epidemic of childhood and adult obesity as well as the increasing incidence of overweight infants. As Georgia’s land-grant university, UGA is able to harness diverse and extensive obesity-related instruction, research activities and public service and outreach components to address this multifaceted problem. The initiative will develop obesity prevention and treatment programs that interested Georgia communities, employers and health care providers can implement. For more information, see obesity.ovpr.uga.edu

(Calvin Powell is director of communications for the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)

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