Scale back begins across the state and locally. -- Illustration

Contest promotes healthy lifestyle

Published 9:49pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Selma, it’s time to “Scale Back” on the pounds.

The Dallas County Health Department wants to help local residents 18 and up lose weight. Beginning Jan. 22, residents are encouraged to volunteer and sign up with a team of four to participate in “Scale Back Alabama”, an annual statewide weight loss contest.

The 10-week contest, which drew more than 30,000 people in 2010, encourages Alabamians to start their new year off right by losing weight.

“The new year is a perfect time to think about establishing good habits that will make you healthier,” said Jennifer Roberts, Dallas County Health Department environmentalist.

Interested participants may weigh-in at the health department Mon., Jan. 24 through Fri., Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Weigh-in times for Wed., Jan. 26 are from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Roberts said throughout the contest participants will receive health tips on how to eat better and how to make exercise a part of a normal routine.

“The contest is free and there are cash prizes at the end,” Roberts said. “We want businesses and other organizations to also participate.”

Rachel Todd, registered dietitian for Women, Infants and Children, a health and nutrition program, said eating healthy throughout the competition and beyond, aids in weight loss.

“Eat more fruits and vegetables, at least five servings per day, and no fried food,” Todd said.

“Drink lots of water, 48 to 64 ounces a day, drink low fat or 1 percent milk and exercise at least 30 minutes to one hour, five times a week. The more you exercise the better.”

Each individual on a four-member team must lose one pound per week for a total of 10 pounds during the contest. Every person that completes the 10-week contest will have his or her name placed in a drawing for $100 each

For the team where all members lose 10 pounds, their names will be placed in a drawing for a chance to win first, second and third place prizes totaling $1,000, $500 or $250 each.

Winners will be announced April 28 in Montgomery.

Visit Scale Back Alabama’s website at www.scalebackalabama.com or call Roberts at 872-5887 for more information.

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