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The Great Dover Meltdown
John Walters, physiologist with the Health and Wellness Center, poses with the sign-up sheet for the Great Dover Meltdown Jan. 16, 2013, at the fitness center on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The meltdown had 30 teams comprised of 150 people sign-up for the healthy fat-loss challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)
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The Great Dover Meltdown

Posted 1/15/2013   Updated 1/15/2013 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/15/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- One of the most popular and lucrative markets in the U.S. is the weight loss market. From fad diets, to TV shows such as The Biggest Loser, Americans seem to be on a never-ending search for the latest pill, food plan or home workout equipment that will help them lose weight fast.

John Walters, an exercise physiologist with the Dover Air Force Base Health and Awareness Center, has devised a competition that promotes healthy fat loss called "The Great Dover Meltdown", which will run from Jan. 11 to Apr. 12.

Walters said that with so many unhealthy choices out there to lose weight, he wanted to devise a competition that accomplished it the right way.

"With the addition of the new "Bod Pod" and the Air Force's push on abdominal circumference measuring, we wanted to promote a healthy fat loss competition, a competition that promotes health, longevity and reduction of abdomen circumference, said Walters.

The meltdown will consist of 30 teams, each consisting of five, for a total of 150 people. Each team member submitted to Bod Pod measurements from Jan. 2 through Jan. 11 to give each team member their base line. The team members will then be re-measured in the Bod Pod from April 2 to April 12 to see how much fat they have lost. The team that has the most total weight loss in that time frame will be the winner.

The Bod Pod is a white egg-shaped machine that a person sits in with compression shorts and a swim cap. The machine then measures the person's total body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate. Then based on that person's readings, Mr. Walters will give them goals, as well as a workout and nutrition plan that will help them achieve fat loss.

Some of the programs that the fitness center offers are the 90-in-90 workouts, aerobics, jazzercise, etc., any of those combined with a nutrition plan will help the competitor lose fat.

Walters said that by making it a competition and placing the individuals into teams of five he was hoping to promote the team members external and internal motivations.

"I wanted to fuel their competiveness to help drive activity and good nutrition," Walters said. "The external drive comes from their teammates saying, 'hey what did you eat today? Have you worked out? Are you watching what you eat?' Internally it comes from not giving up, the drive to keep going."

Walters said he is encouraged to see the initiative in the 150 people who signed up for the meltdown, but he hopes it doesn't end there.

"I would like to see a change in Dover personnel's lifestyle habits and see healthier lifestyle changes," Walters said. "I would like to see them become more active and being more careful what we eat. This shows that Dover has a desire to get healthier."

Walters said his goal with the meltdown is to see healthy lifestyles promoted.

"I would like to see a total fat loss of 1,500 pounds total from all the contestants combined," Walters said. "I hope they start feeling better and have a reduction of fat that is seen not only by them, but by their friends and family."

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