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African Americans are twice as likely to suffer from sudden cardiac death compared to whites and that rate is triple for black women. Heart disease is an epidemic; and it’s claiming the lives of more Black women than all forms of cancer combined. That’s why the American Heart Association, with the help of its sponsor, Weight Watchers International, Inc.  is establishing the EmPOWERED & Well Healthier Church Challenge, to support and expand the health and wellness of black women and their faith-based communities.

Tamela Mann is a Weight Watchers ambassador and she’s down 50 Pounds since April. She says her journey has been filled with “a lot of ups and downs,” but she’s not giving up. She explains that her “word for this year has been completion,” so she refused to quit. Mann “wanted to be healthier and not become a liability” to her family.

The American Heart Association and Weight Watchers, are starting a 12-week program, The EmPOWERED & Well Healthier Church Challenge, that will empower participants with weekly coaching and science-based health education.

They’re calling churches in six cities to register by Nov. 18 – Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC, to register. The program starts the week of January 5 and will culminate with community celebrations announcing two winning churches.

For more information on how to qualify as a program participant, visit

Tamela Mann Talks About Her Weight Loss Journey  was originally published on