The WellMASS More Matters Challenge wrapped up several weeks ago, and state employees at over 40 different worksites were up to the Challenge of eating more fruits and vegetables. Throughout the 30-day Challenge, participants were tasked with meeting their Daily Recommended Intake of both fruits and vegetables. They were provided with a number of tips and tools to help them to do so, including a tracking form, issues of the Department of Public Health’s Chop Chop magazine, and handouts on meal planning tips and different ways to cook fruits and vegetables.
Employees who participated in the Challenge learned wonders about their diet and felt that their health had greatly improved as a result of increasing their produce intake:
“I actually lost 5 pounds doing this challenge” –DOC employee
“I enjoyed participating in the More Matters Challenge, during which I learned quite a bit about my eating patterns, and food choice pitfalls! I continue to stay focused on making healthier choices with a heightened awareness of what is healthy and tastes good, as opposed to eating simply what tastes good! Thank you for allowing me to participate in this program.” –DMH employee
“We found out some interesting things about our eating habits.” –DYS employee
“One thing I found out was that we have been eating more vegetables than we thought we were eating.” – DCS employee
Even those employees that did not end up meeting their Daily Recommended Intake for the entire month still came out of the Challenge feeling healthier and happier about their diets:
“Sadly I only completed 24 of the 30 days. I am sad but am really happy to have been a part of the challenge because it forced me to look at my produce consumption. I know now that I need to keep an eye on this. I may continue to track on my own and I’m glad to have been included in this cool challenge!” – MRC employee
Many employees also turned More Matters into a family affair. DCS employee Donna DeLena participated with her husband, who is also a state employee, and found that it helped to have someone to compare notes with, especially while they were on vacation. DYS employee Lorrie Bobé participated with her cousin, with whom she lives, and found that the Challenge changed the way they shopped for groceries and planned meals.
Due to the success of More Matters and last winter’s Weight Loss Challenge, WellMASS will be sponsoring quarterly paper-based challenges that are open to all state employees. This Fall’s Stress Less Challenge will be rolled out to agency Wellness Champions on October 16, just in time for employees to start managing stress during the holiday season.