ARH kicks off Scale Back Jan. 22

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Now that the holiday goodies and starch heavy meals are finished, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions – specifically, the one to lose weight and eat healthier.

For those who need a little motivation, look no further than the statewide Scale Back Alabama weight loss contest.

The 10-week weight loss competition is designed to capitalize on weight loss for New Year’s resolutions and create a fun atmosphere for weight loss and physical activity, said Valarie McCalman at Andalusia Regional Hospital. For the seventh year in a row, the local hospital will once again participate as a weigh-in site for the weight loss contest. Participants must form a team of four.

McCalman said local residents are invited to sign up for contest in the first floor classroom of ARH on Mon., Jan. 22, and Tues., Jan. 23, from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Last year’s statewide campaign drew nearly 30,000 people in almost every county with a cumulative reported weight loss of 148,963 pounds.

“The new year is a perfect time to think about establishing good habits that will make you healthier,” McCalman said. “All you have to do to participate in Scale Back Alabama is find three other individuals to be on your team and come to Andalusia Regional Hospital classroom to weigh in and register. The contest is free, and there are statewide cash prize drawings at the end.”

The goal for participants is to lose a pound a week during the 10-week period.

ARH staff is encouraging healthy weight loss, “not crash dieting,” McCalman said.

Throughout the contest, participants will be provided with tips such as how to eat healthier portions and how to make exercise a part of their normal routine. The contest is geared toward adults age 18 and older, and businesses and other organizations are encouraged participate.

Those who complete the contest and are on a team in which every member loses at least 10 pounds are placed in a drawing for one of three grand prizes, with the top prize being $1,000 per team member. There are also other prize drawings for individuals who lose at least 10 pounds, regardless of their team’s success, and still other prize drawings for people who have lost any weight and show up to weigh out.

There is also a contest for the best team name and votes will be taken March 8-18. The winner of that contest will be announced March 19.

Weigh outs will occur during the week of April 6-12. The winner will be announced after April 26.

Scale Back Alabama is a public awareness campaign hosted by Alabama’s hospitals and the Alabama Department of Public Health, with generous support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. For more information, go to

Locals with questions may contact McCalman at 222-8466 ext. 602 or via email at or Patty Ashworth at 222-6902 or