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City expands partnership with Weight Watchers

A city partnership with Weight Watchers has expanded, providing low-cost access to weight loss assistance to more of Baltimore’s low-income population.

Baltimore was one of three cities — Racine, Wis., and York, Pa., are the others — selected as a grant recipient in the Weight Watchers and U.S. Conference of Mayors Health Communities Grant Program. The total value of the subsidized memberships is $1 million across the three cities, plus $25,000 each straight from Weight Watchers.

The grant will fund an expansion of the B’More Fit for Healthy Babies program, which provides Weight Watchers memberships and exercise classes to low-income mothers with at least one child under age 2.

Thanks to the expansion, the program will now serve men and seniors as well at a the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging in Park Heights. It was previously available only to women at weekly meeting sites in Druid Hill and Patterson Park.

The expanded program will allow low-income residents of Baltimore to get heavily-subsidized memberships to Weight Watchers, as well as fitness instruction. To qualify, residents must have a body mass index of 25 or higher (classified as “overweight”) and must receive assistance from a federally subsidized program like WIC or Medicaid.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Weight Watchers celebrity spokesperson Jennifer Hudson celebrated the launch of the expansion Tuesday at the Zeta Center.

Rawlings-Blake has personal experience with weight loss, having undergone a transformation during her time as mayor. She mentioned her decision to lose weight at Tuesday’s announcement, and a Weight Watchers leader she has worked with spoke as well.

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