Employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina who participated in the insurer's weight-loss challenge collectively lost 11,301 pounds in 2012 -- exceeding the goal of five tons.
"We just hope that sharing this news will motivate others -- as it motivated us," said Blue Cross spokeswoman Ellen Chu.
About 1,700 of the insurer's 4,000 employees participated in the weight-loss challenge, which enabled the company to reverse a six-year trend of employees gaining weight.
"We know that when our employees have a BMI (body mass index) of more than 28, their health care costs can be up to $2,900 per employee," CEO Brad Wilson said in a statement. "As a company and a leader in the North Carolina health care system, that's not a trend we can sustain, so we made a commitment to get serious about our health."
Blue Cross encouraged weight loss with a variety of measures, including offering healthier options in its on-site cafeterias and vending machines and providing lower-price memberships in Weight Watchers.
In addition, employees with a BMI less than 28, or who lost 5 percent of their body fat in 2012, will receive a credit toward their 2012 health insurance premiums.