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December 21, 2006 


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Ruben Studdard (AP Photo)
Studdard Hosts Alabama Weight-Loss Plan
Posted: December 20, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) -- The scales of "American Idol" may have tipped in Ruben Studdard's favor in 2003, but there are other scales he would like to tip a bit less.

After shedding almost 100 pounds, the Birmingham native and "American Idol" winner says he wants to help other residents of Alabama to lose weight.

He's asking the 25 percent of the state's residents who are obese to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks - a total of 10 million pounds.

Since committing to a weight-loss program this summer, Studdard has lost nearly 100 pounds, 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," said the 28-year-old singer, whose third album, "The Return," was released in October by J Records.

Studdard told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he wanted to get in shape "because I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature."

"I felt like it was necessary for me to combat those issues at a young age before it became a bigger issue. I went to this place called Duke Diet & Fitness Center for a month and learned how to change my eating habits."

Scale Back Alabama, an eight-week weight-loss campaign, kicks off Jan. 4 with an event featuring Studdard. The campaign is being jointly sponsored by Alabama's hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Dairies.

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