HOUSTON -

Mayor Annise Parker Wednesday announced a new campaign challenging Houstonians to collectively lose 1 million pounds.

The City of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership, H-E-B, the YMCA of Greater Houston and Southwestern Energy are all partnering up for the Shape Up Houston Million Pound Challenge Campaign, which calls on all major employers in the greater Houston area to recruit 50,000 employees to collectively lose 1 million pounds.

"Improved quality of life and the health benefits that can result from it are priorities of my administration," said Mayor Parker. "We are seeing real progress toward achieving these benefits through the work of the Go Healthy Houston Task Force, the Bayou Greenways Initiative, our new Complete Streets Policy (and) the City Hall Farmer's Market."

Applied successfully in other U.S. cities, Shape Up's approach is to align community and employer partners with the shared goal of reducing obesity.

Officials say if you or your organization has yet to implement a worksite wellness program, ShapeUpHouston.org is a place to do so.

Shape Up Houston also has the early support of the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Houston Black Chamber of  Commerce, the Houston Bethel's Place Black Chamber of Commerce and the Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce.