Ruben Studdard is telling kids in Alabama not to be like him.
The American Idol winner, who is a spokesman for the Scale Back Alabama weight-loss campaign, spent Tuesday taking a fitness message to schools in hopes of helping Alabama shed its weighty reputation.
"I donâ€™t want yâ€™all to be like me. I donâ€™t want yâ€™all to get to college and stop working out and forget all the things you have to do to be healthy," Studdard, 28, told students at Montgomeryâ€™s Capitol Heights Junior High School.
Studdard said in December that he had started a weight-loss program in the summer.
His comments Tuesday came a few hours after state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks and State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton unveiled an Alabama KidFit initiative at a news conference across town.
Flanked by children wearing the programâ€™s yellow T-shirts emblazoned with pictures of fruits and vegetables, Sparks and Morton expressed dismay at Alabamaâ€™s persistent ranking near the top of the nationâ€™s list for obesity.
"This generation of young persons in Alabama . . . could be the first generation that does not outlive their parents in age span," Morton said. "Thatâ€™s frightening."
SOURCE: The Associated Press