Now in its second year, the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown presented by Dole awarded $18,000 on Saturday to three contestants who made the greatest gains in health improvement and fan engagement over a three-month period.
Brittany Ward of San Antonio won the grand prize of $10,000; Brad Westmoreland of New Braunfels won the $5,000 "fan favorite" prize, and Juan Ramirez of San Antonio won the $3,000 "healthy hero" award.
Hailing from all over Texas, the 25 contestants in this year’s showdown lost more than 700 lb and showed off their healthier frames to hundreds of cheering supporters in an emotional makeover reveal ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Saturday. In addition to weight loss, the contestants significantly improved their health biometrics and penned 990 blogs, generating 38,636 comments and hundreds of thousands of page views.
H-E-B determined the grand prize winner using three metrics – overall health improvement, participation and fan engagement.
Brittany Ward, an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, lost 34 lb, dropped her cholesterol by 62 points and attracted 6,308 comments on her blog.
"This (contest) was more than I ever thought it would be," said Ward in an emotional acceptance speech. "Change is possible when you commit. We’ve got to change the world. We’ve got to start putting our health first."