Jan. 23: Time to Scale Back

New Year’s Day has come and gone, and you’ve had ample time to break that resolution you made. You know the one: “I’m going to lose weight in 2012.”

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Don’t fret. There’s still time to reset your sights and enlist some friends struggling with their own weight-loss efforts.

Beginning Jan. 21, UAB faculty, staff, students and family members are invited to commit to Scale Back Alabama, the 10-week, statewide contest that encourages Alabamians to lose weight, exercise and have fun doing it.

This past year, more than 33,000 Alabamians reported a cumulative weight-loss of 143,309 pounds during the contest; 3,740 of those pounds were shed by UAB faculty and staff.

“This is a perfect time to think about establishing good habits that will make you healthier,” said Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., UAB Employee Wellness coordinator. “Scale Back Alabama is a great starting point to help you reach your goals in a fun, healthy way.”

Employees can form teams of four people to weigh in and register at one of several UAB campus locations the week beginning Jan. 23. Weigh-in times and locations are online at www.uab.edu/wellness. Team members do not have to weigh in at the same time. The contest is free, and there will be cash prize drawings when the contest concludes the work week ending April 13.

The goal is to lose a pound a week during the 10-week period.

“We’re really encouraging healthy weight-loss, not crash-dieting,” Whitt says. “Throughout the contest, participants will be provided with tips for eating healthy portions and making exercise a part of their normal routine. We will post daily tips and words of encouragement on the UAB Wellness Facebook and @UABWellness Twitter accounts.”

Nearly one in three Alabamians is considered obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s third worst rate — behind only Mississippi and West Virginia.

Scale Back Alabama challenges those obesity rates and encourages citizens to lose weight and be healthier. Alabama’s hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama sponsor the contest.

For every team that completes the 10-week contest with each team member losing at least 10 pounds (an average one pound per week), the team will be included in a drawing for one of three grand prizes on April 30. The members of the first team drawn will win $1,000 each, the second team will win $500 per member and the third team will win $250 per member. Everyone who loses at least 10 pounds will be included in a drawing for one of 50 achievement prizes of $100 per person, regardless of their team’s achievement. Everyone who lost any weight and weighs out also will be included in a drawing.

Visit www.uab.edu/wellness and www.scalebackalabama.com for information.

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