According to a study by Trust for America’s Health, Alabama ranks number two in the nation for obesity. Now, a weight loss competition is underway for people across the state.
The campaign is called "Scale Back Alabama" and calls for the participation of 25 percent of obese Alabamians.
Dropping those extra pounds can be a hassle. However, fitness experts say the sooner you take control of your weight the longer, more satisfying life you are likely to live.
"People with cholesterol problems and diabetes, they can all be controlled by exercise and physical activity," said Leonard Gray, SAMC Team Health Leader.
Individuals who are overweight face both minor and severe health problems. Doctors say the drastic increase in heart related problems when a patient is obese is startling.
"Being obese puts an extra strain on your heart and increases your risk of heart disease, blockages and heart attacks," said Denise Golden, SAMC Cardiac Rehab RN.
Past American Idol Winner Reuben Studdard is challenging 25 percent of obese Alabamians to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks. Fitness experts say setting goals can make achieving weight loss more attainable.
"Monthly goals are common. It's important for people who hit their goals to want to do more," said Gray.
One of the biggest reasons people quit exercising is because they fall short of their goals or miss a work out. Heath experts say the key to successfully losing weight is not to be a perfect dieter, but rather to have the motivation to get up and keep trying.
Health experts say the key to good health starts with a workout plan. However, they also emphasize the importance of eating a healthy diet, which doesn't necessarily mean giving up all the foods you love, but just learning to eat smaller portions.
You can participate in this weight loss campaign too. For more information you can visit their website at www.scalebackalabama.com.