4/2/2008 - Hundreds of pounds fall to campus-wide "Scale Back Alabama" campaign
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College students and employees shed nearly 500 pounds during the "Scale Back Alabama" campaign. Vice-President for Student Services Sandra Fowler reported final statistics at a convocation on March 18. More than half of the ninety-six participants were successful in losing weight, she said.
"Scale Back Alabama" was a state-wide program jointly sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama's hospitals.
The program called for participants to join teams of four who would hold one another accountable in reaching the goal of losing ten pounds in ten weeks.
"The encouragement that team members gave each other was a good motivation," Fowler said.
A 2006 study by "The Trust for America's Health" found that nearly 30 percent of Alabamians are obese.
According to the Scale Back website, obesity impacts not only one's health and quality of life, but "can be expensive for the individual and for his/her employer in terms of higher utilization, lower productivity, increased absenteeism and higher workers’ compensation
claims . . . . The lifetime medical costs related to diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke and hypertension among the obese are $10,000 higher than among the non-obese."
Judson inaugurated the program with an informational luncheon featuring Dr. Charles Sands, Samford University's associate dean of sports medicine. Intramural volleyball and kickball games were offered twice each week for participants, and each participant losing the required ten pounds was eligible for several prizes.
Judson senior Amber Forsyth of Anniston won the drawing for a three night vacation at St. Simon's Island which was donated by the campus's food vendor, MMI Dining. Forsyth lost 10.6 pounds during the ten weeks.
Kirtley Residence Hall Director Jodi Denham was recognized as "The Biggest Loser" with a 24-pound weight loss.
Denham, a 2007 Judson graduate from Clanton, said she did a daily exercise routine and sometimes exercised twice a day as well as being more careful with menu selections.
"I'm really stoked about my weight loss," Denham said. "It's made me happier and healthier, and I'm not finished yet!"
Fowler said that the program met her expectations and that there should be a long-term benefit.
"Many in our campus community are becoming more physically active and watching what they eat," she said. "Scale Back taught us some good health habits for life."
* Article courtesy of Judson College Public Relations Department