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American Idol Ruben Studdard urges Alabama to lose weight

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — The scales of "American Idol" may have tipped in Ruben Studdard's favor, but there are other scales he would like to tip a bit less.

After shedding almost 100 pounds, the Birmingham native and 2003 American Idol winner announced Monday that he wants to help other Alabamians lose weight.

Studdard has agreed to be a coach for Alabama residents who want to stick to that New Year's resolution to lose weight. He is asking the 25 percent of Alabamians who are obese to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks — a statewide total of 10 million pounds.

Since committing to a weight loss program this summer, Studdard has started eating healthier and begun exercising, according to a news release announcing the program.

"I'm not where I want to be, but I'm on the right track, and I'm excited about encouraging other Alabamians to begin their own weight loss journeys," Studdard said.

The eight-week weight loss campaign — Scale Back Alabama — will run from January through March.

The campaign, which kicks off Jan. 4 with an event featuring Studdard, is being jointly sponsored by Alabama's hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Diaries.

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On the Net:

www.scalebackalabama.com

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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