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Employee Health & Wellness Programs Get a Pep Talk from Biggest Loser Jay Jacobs

When Jay Jacobs climbed on the scale atop the stage of the hit show The Biggest Loser, he weighed in at 400 lbs. He didn't win the contest, but lost 181 lbs and found a way to keep the weight off. Jay Jacobs explains what he discovered to be the "secret" of losing weight. He explains, "when you stand in front of 15 million people every week, you can't make excuses...honesty is the root of real weight loss." Being on the show in a public way forced him to be very honest about what he ate and how much he ate. Jay also reveals what he does to keep the weight off now that he's off the show. For a taste of Jay's advice to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, check out the video of Jay's Bio page.


Since his experience on The Biggest Loser, Jay has been busy helping companies with their Employee Health and Wellness initiatives. Jay helps business leaders successfully engage employees in healthy lifestyles. Employee wellness programs focus on supportive social communities like the workplace to improve employee health and productivity, lower healthcare costs, and create a healthy workplace culture.

The National Employee Wellness Month website has some revealing statistics supporting Health & Wellness programs. The site states:

Employee health directly impacts healthcare costs — a board-level issue for every US organization.

  • 75% of these costs are driven by preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. 
  • 87% of employees surveyed said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.
  • 80% of employees surveyed say that they believe their employer cares about their well-being.
  • 70% of employees say that wellness programs positively influence the culture at work.

Health and wellness programs have a positive impact on an organization's culture.

With 82% of organizations relying primarily on email as the main source of communication for these programs, there is a trend of companies moving to more direct communication. Several companies work with Jay to inspire their employees to take the first big step toward a more active, healthy lifestyle.

jacobs_jayJay's Story

Jay Jacobs, a 54-year-old entrepreneur from New Jersey, was a contestant on the eleventh season of NBC's hit weight-loss reality show, The Biggest Loser. Known as one of the strongest teams to beat, Jay and his daughter, Jen, were the Green Team and lost a combined total of 295 pounds on the show! Jay started to put on weight as a child, but the greatest weight gain came as an adult. Before the show, Jay called himself "functionally fat" and had tried to lose weight his whole adult life. He had even lost over 100 pounds several times—only to gain it all back. In the fall of 2009, he hit his highest weight of 435 pounds.

Jay tried out for The Biggest Loser because it was his daughter Jennifer's dream. Soon, though, Jay came to find out that he needed the show even more than Jennifer did. Chosen from a casting call of over 250,000 hopefuls, Jay started the show at 400 pounds. Affectionately tagged by world-renowned trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels as the “man with nine lives,” Jay barely made it onto the show after being diagnosed with near fatal heart arrhythmia due to a severe case of sleep apnea. Never finishing first, but always finishing strong no matter what challenge was set before him, Jay became one of America's favorite contestants. In fact, against all odds and competing against an Olympic Gold Medalist, Jay made it to the coveted Final Four as the only man left standing and after losing an amazing 181 pounds in just eight months.

Since the show, Jay Jacobs has become a health and wellness ambassador. He has appeared on TV and radio programs such as Today, Good Morning America, and Fox & Friends. Plus, he has appeared in Time, The New York Times and Readers Digest. Jay's journey and message inspires individuals to embrace healthier lifestyles. Healthier lifestyles lead to better overall corporate health and greater productivity for organizations. Jay's personal journey motivates others to tackle their own health challenges and live the rest of their lives as the best of their lives!

Jay is one of the Goodman Speakers Bureau's Managed Speakers.  To book Jay for your next health and wellness event, call us at 800.875.2893 or email diane@goodmanspeakersbureau.com.

Speaker Referenced: 
 Jay Jacobs