The scales of American Idol may have tipped in Ruben Studdardâ€™s favor in 2003, but there are other scales he would like to tip a bit less.
After shedding almost 100 pounds, the Birmingham native and American Idol champ says he wants to help other residents of Alabama to lose weight. Heâ€™s asking the 25 percent of the stateâ€™s residents who are obese to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks â€” a total of 10 million pounds.
Since committing to a weight-loss program this summer, Studdard has lost nearly 100 pounds, started eating healthier and begun exercising, according to a news release announcing the program.
â€œIâ€™m not where I want to be, but Iâ€™m on the right track, and Iâ€™m excited about encouraging other Alabamians to begin their own weight-loss journeys,â€ said the 28-year-old singer, whose third album, "The Return,â€ was released in October by J Records.
Studdard told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he wanted to get in shape â€œbecause I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature.â€
â€œI felt like it was necessary for me to combat those issues at a young age before it became a bigger issue. I went to this place called Duke Diet & Fitness Center for a month and learned how to change my eating habits.â€
Scale Back Alabama, an eight-week weight-loss campaign, kicks off Jan. 4 with an event featuring the former American Idol. The campaign is being jointly sponsored by Alabamaâ€™s hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Diaries.