OHS team places 2nd in Scale Back Alabama

Published 1:14 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

The staff at Opp High School received second place in the group division of this year’s Scale Back Alabama Program and in return they will receive materials to promote healthier eating in their classrooms.

This is not the first time that OHS has placed in the program. Two years ago, one of the teams from OHS came in first place and received $1,000 each.

“This is the third year that we have done Scale Back,” OHS Scale Back coordinator and school nurse Rita Drew said. “I would say that placing two out of three years is not that bad.”

The goal of Scale Back Alabama is to get each person on each team to lose 10 pounds from January through April.

There were nine teams this year with two people partnered up on each team. Out of the nine teams, eight people lost 10 pounds and one person lost 27 pounds.

“The staff really did it all by themselves,” Drew said. “Since I am the coordinator, all I did was be the person who told them when and where to weigh in and sent the data. Of course, I promoted healthy eating and exercise as well.”

Drew said that having a partner makes all the difference when it comes to losing weight.

“The ones on the staff that actually lost their 10 pounds were very pleased,” Drew said. “The biggest thing they say is having a partner makes losing weight so much easier. You have somebody to hold you accountable. It keeps them motivated because they are responsible for their partner as well. Scale Back Alabama also has an app on their phone that sends reminders all day and motivational phrases to make sure they keep up the good work.”

She believes that by getting the staff and teachers to participate in Scale Back Alabama will matriculate down to the students’ habits as well.

“I put posters all over the school to remind teachers about Scale Back,” Drew said. “And since the kids see it as well, they start asking about it. They see that their teachers are eating healthy and they are more likely to start getting into those habits.”

Drew said that in the past three years, childhood obesity has increased, and she hopes that with the material they earned from this program she will be able to fight childhood obesity at OHS.

“I honestly don’t know what we got yet,” Drew said. “But I am very excited to see what it is so we can get started. I just hope that we get something good so we can motivate these kids to lose weight.”

More than 51,000 pounds were lost from January through April, and lots of healthy habits were formed. In all 17,682 team members participated, and there were 3,252 people who lost at least 10 pounds.

Alabama currently has the fifth highest rate of obesity in the country, something that can lead to high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases.  According to the contest sponsors, Scale Back Alabama is a once a year challenge that is meant to bring awareness to the program and to help individuals eat better foods and exercise more.