Scale Back Alabama campaign kicks off

Published 3:54 pm Monday, January 9, 2012

For the past five years, citizens across the state have been losing weight — all because of an initiative started by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association. For the sixth year in a row, the Scale Back Alabama event will be aimed at helping Alabama’s citizens find healthy alternatives to fatty, high-sugar foods and learn more healthy eating habits. The weight-loss campaign kicks off the week of Jan. 20 with teams already gearing up in Brewton and Atmore to be a part of the statewide event.  Avis Whitworth at the Escambia County Department of Health said the 2012 event will mark the third year the local department has been involved in the program.

“We want to help promote good health and a healthy lifestyle and this program helps with that goal,” Whitworth said. “The hope is that after working to make healthy choices and lose weight during the 10 weeks, it will be a lifestyle that people will be able to maintain.” Whitworth said forming a team to be a part of the Scale Back Alabama event is one way to ensure success for participants.  “When you have a team of people who see each other regularly it helps with the goal of losing weight,” Whitworth said. “You can meet at lunch as a team, do some walking or get involved in some physical activities. This program is great for teams and is tailored for small groups.”

Whitworth said the Brewton and Atmore health department locations will serve as official weigh-in and weigh-out locations for those who want to participate.

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“We are getting help from the Escambia County RSVP program and the nursing department at Jefferson Davis Community College,” Whitworth said. “Those volunteers will be on hand during the weigh-in and weigh-out weeks to help with the paperwork, registration and reporting.”

Amy Cooley, RSVP coordinator, said the assistance her group will give is a way to help promote healthy living.

“We want to help any way we can,” Cooley said. “We will all be partnering to help teams get registered and give them some information that will help them be successful in the program.” During registration, the names of team members including a captain will be entered into the program complete with weigh-in and contact information.

“Once participants are weighed in they will be able to use their home scales to keep up with their weight loss during the 10-week period,” Whitworth said. “Then, a final weigh-in will be done at the end of the program to determine the total weight loss for each individual and for the entire team.”

To learn more about the Scale Back Alabama initiative and for weight-loss tips and guidelines, visit the program Web site at