Students Compete to be ‘Biggest Loser’

by Jake Hawkins

NBC’s reality weight loss show “The Biggest Loser” has been attracting audiences nationwide, and now it has spawned what some consider a new national movement toward fighting obesity.

Currently in its ninth season, “The Biggest Loser” as a brand has launched food lines, workout videos, cookbooks and now the “Pound for Pound Challenge,” a movement to fight hunger nationwide.

Thanks to efforts by Transylvania University junior Emileigh Burns, a campus group has been formed to urge Transy students to take part in the challenge. At press time, the Facebook group that Burns is using to communicate with fellow students has reached 74 members.

When asked about her plans for the group, Burns said, “I don’t want this to be another group on Facebook. I want it to be active.”

To keep the group active, Burns has mentioned plans of getting group members together to watch “The Biggest Loser” and exercise. She wants the group to serve as accountability to those who have pledged.

Burns has pledged 15 pounds herself and cites eating more consciously as her first step to reaching her goal.

First year Tiffany Brewer is also taking part in the challenge. Brewer has pledged a weight loss of 10 pounds.

“I don’t drink soda anymore, and I’m walking a lot more,” Brewer said. “Once I get my schedule in line I will be going to the gym.”

The Pound for Pound Challenge is sponsored in large part by NBC and is organized by Feeding America, the nation’s leading charity group devoted to domestic hunger relief. As part of the Pound for Pound Challenge NBC and a group of other sponsors donates $0.14 (the average cost for a pound of food) to Feeding America for every pound pledged.

Feeding America then oversees food distribution. They assure that the amount of money donated to each participating food bank equals the amount of pledged pounds in that specific area.

God’s Pantry, one of only three participating food banks in Kentucky, is in second place in the state for pledged pounds. Currently, 607 people have pledged weight loss to benefit God’s Pantry, equaling a total pledge of 19,646 pounds. With five months still left to pledge, $2,750.44 will already be donated to God’s Pantry.

Mandy Brajuha, a worker at God’s Pantry, said that the non-profit received nearly $3,000 from the Pound for Pound Challenge.

“[God’s Pantry] also received many generous direct donations from right here in the community in support of the cause,” said Brajuha, praising the awareness the program has generated for hunger issues.

For more information on how you can take part in the Pound for Pound Challenge, visit or join the Transy Facebook group “Pound for Pound Challenge Transylvania U. Style.”

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