You might want to try Scale Back Alabama. The statewide weight loss competition, which gets under way Saturday, has motivated Alabamians shed more than 1 million pounds since launching in 2007.
The rules for the 2014 contest are simple: form a team of four friends, neighbors, co-workers, church pals, whatever, then record everyone’s beginning weight and spend the next 10 weeks getting fit.
If every team member loses at least 10 pounds by early April, that team is entered into a random drawing for the $4,000 grand prize. The second place team prize is $2,000; the third-place team gets $1,000.
If you lose at least 10 pounds but your teammates don’t, you are still eligible for one of 50 individual achievement prizes of $100. Scale Back Alabama is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Hospital Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
Scale Back weigh-ins start Saturday morning at sites across Alabama and continue through Friday, Jan. 24. Click here to find an official weigh-in site in your area.
The 27,080 participants in the 2013 Scale Back Alabama weight-loss competition dropped a total of 129,528 pounds. That works out to 4.78 pounds per person.
“Scale Back Alabama is a great way to focus attention on an issue that greatly affects the health of our citizens,” State Health Officier Dr. Donald Williamson said in announcing last year’s results. “Obesity is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and the list goes on. Unfortunately about one-third of Alabamians are considered to be obese.
“If we could get people to adopt healthier diets and exercise habits,” said Williamson, “we could eliminate or greatly control many of our chronic health issues.”
In August, the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that Alabama has the fourth-highest percentage of obese adults in the nation, trailing only Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia. Alabama was among 12 states with an obesity rate above 30 percent.