WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH — Hoping to promote wellness and weight loss through camaraderie and enjoyable activities, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) officials introduced a command-wide competition called Team Lean Challenge (TLC).

“Just like it has an impact on the nation, being overweight, coupled with poor exercise habits, has a significant bearing on the health, well-being and readiness of our AFMC military and civilian airmen,” says Terry L. Gabreski, the AFMC vice commander.

TLC kicked off April 16 and runs through Sept. 28. The program enrolls participants into five-person teams, which in turn will facilitate the team concept throughout units, installations and even the command.

The team with the highest percentage of weight loss — not necessarily the amount of weight loss — wins the challenge. The command's wellness program has its roots in a Web-based tool called the health risk appraisal (HRA), a key component of corporate wellness programs, says Bruce Carlson, the AFMC commander.

“It provides individualized, real-time, wellness-related information and feedback to workers, allowing them to make informed decisions in a number of important wellness categories,” he says.

The HRA is part of the command's movement toward a wellness-focused and safe work place, military officials say. By providing access to information and resources tailored to their needs, it helps each individual take charge of their own wellness.

Awards will be presented for the winning team at each installation.