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Melanie Benjamin at a press conference in St. Paul on March 11, 2013.

Joel Koyama, Star Tribune

Mille Lacs Band members lose more than 1,000 pounds

  • Associated Press
  • June 6, 2014 - 4:28 AM

ONAMIA, Minn. — More than 150 members of the Mille Lacs of Ojibwe lost a total of over 1,000 pounds as part of a weight loss challenge issued by the tribe's chief executive.

In her 2014 State of the Band Address, Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin cited obesity, heart disease and diabetes as obstacles that keep band members from living "the good life."

She issued a 16-week challenge for families to lose weight. The challenge included weigh-ins, fitness and nutrition assessments, cooking classes and meal planning.

She also offered cash prizes to the top three winners.

A banquet is being held Friday at Grand Casino Mille Lacs to honor those who participated.

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