ARH, Mizell: 300+ Scale Back

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 29, 2010

More than 300 people throughout Covington County have taken up the Scale Back Alabama challenge, program coordinators from Andalusia Regional Hospital and Mizell Memorial Hospital said Thursday.

Registration from the program ended Wednesday with 45 teams ready to compete in the 10-week, statewide initiative focused on healthy weight loss where teams of four compete to see who can lose the most weight overall.

ARH’s Valerine McCalman said the 45-team total is three more than those participating last year.

As an added bonus to the program, McCalman said ARH’s registered dietician, John Newsom, will be teaching a nutrition class on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. in the ARH dining room beginning Mon., Feb. 1. Classes will continue throughout the duration of the program.

In Opp, Mizell Memorial Hospital’s Patti Ferman said she has 37 complete teams and a few others waiting to fill up.

“My goal is 45 teams,” Ferman said. “The first year I had 156 teams in the county. This year we have three weigh in sites; the more the better.”

This year, Mizell will offer weekly nutrition lessons at lunch on Monday at the Opp Wellness Center.

Ferman said this is her fourth Scale Back Alabama, and she has seen some familiar faces so far.

“It’s exciting to have familiar faces show up who have been able to keep their weight off over the past few years,” she said. “It is important not only to lose weight but to keep it off.

“This is why Scale Back in not a diet program; it emphasizes behavior change or lifestyle change – even if that is only one regular 20 ounce Coke per day instead of two.”

Ferman said this change alone a person could lose up to 25 pounds per year.

McCalman said hospital officials are thankful for the local support and good turnout.

“It is great to see people making the choice to improve their health,” she said. “The team component of this program is an important aspect because people have an extra incentive to not let their team members down.”