Clinton School District and Baptist Healthplex, Mississippi College, Clinton News, WLBT-3 and multiple donors and sponsors – Arrow Meltdown

Childhood obesity is rising at an alarming rate in Mississippi. In the Clinton School District, we limit caloric value of food sold in vending machines, require that students get 150 minutes a week of physical activity, and offer balanced, low-fat meals in cafeterias, among other measures. But for us to be truly successful, we had to find a way to get parents and teachers to set positive examples for their children.

In the fall of 2009 a Biggest Loser-type contest called “Arrow Meltdown” was coordinated for parents and teachers in partnership with a local fitness center. We began accepting applications after Thanksgiving break and in January a panel of health, fitness and nutrition experts chose 16 participants (out of nearly 65 applicants) to participate in the contest.

Arrow Meltdown kicked off in January 2010. Participated attended 12 weekly fitness and nutrition “boot camps” where they learned how to eat health and exercise, not just for the duration of the contest but for the long-term. At the end of the contest we held a Healthy Family Day health fair, where the final weigh-in was held and winners announced. Angela Thompson, a mother of five who lost 22 percent of her body weight during the contest, won our grand prize valued at more than $4,000.

The combined weigh loss for Arrow Meltdown was 500 pounds. Each of our seven schools held faculty and staff weight-loss contests during Arrow Meltdown. This year we’re holding the contest again with 16 more parents and teachers, and we also worked with a community group in Yazoo City to start a similar weight-loss contest.


Duration of partnership: 2 years
30 volunteers
Impacts 4,600 students

Activities: “Arrow Meltdown” contest modeled after “Biggest Loser” consisting of 12-week fitness and nutrition “boot camps” for parents and teachers. Total of 16 out of 65 applicants were screened and selected by a professional panel to participate. After contest, partnership organized Healthy Family Day health fair that included final contest weigh-in and announcement of winner. Angela Thompson, mother of 5 who lost 22% of her body weight, won grand prize of $4,000.

Results: Combined weight loss of all participants was 500 pounds. Contest influenced students and teachers to focus more on fitness and nutrition. Each school in district (7) held faculty and staff weight-loss contests during Meltdown.