MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The 10th anniversary of Scale Back Alabama got off to a huge start Friday by breaking a Guinness World Record.
The state's largest annual weight loss and exercise program kicked off Friday with organizers seeking 200 people to step on a scale at one time to beat the world record of 130. The previous record was set in 2010 by a British company.
Setup started early Friday morning and bus loads of people soon started arriving for the 7:20 a.m. event. Witnesses and videographers documented the event, which Guinness had pre-approved.
When the scale at Sabel Steel was ready, people stepped up, literally. When they were finished weighing, 157 people had helped shatter the record! Their total weight tipped the scale at 30,400 pounds!
"Having this many people come out at the crack of dawn in cold weather was amazing," said Rosemary Blackmon, executive vice president/COO of the Alabama Hospital Association. "But even more amazing is the fact that Scale Back Alabama has lasted 10 years and has resulted in a statewide weight loss of more than 1.2 million pounds."
"Obesity can cause health concerns beyond just being overweight," says Takenya Taylor, with the Alabama Department of Public Health. "It can cause chronic diseases that can last a lifetime that you have to deal with. It can shorten your life span, it can shorten the amount of time that you get to spend with your family. We really want to encourage people that it's not just about looking good, it's about feeling good, about being there for your family."
Scale Back Alabama is a free statewide weight-loss program sponsored by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama that encourages Alabamians to get healthy and to have fun at the same time.
"It's very difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of Scale Back Alabama," said Tom Miller, M.D., acting state health officer. "The evidence shows that obesity has serious health consequences, and unfortunately, Alabama ranks near the top in terms of adult obesity. However, it's also been proven that programs like Scale Back Alabama that offer incentives, education and accountability as a team member go a long way in encouraging healthy lifestyles."
The 2016 program runs from Jan. 8 until April 29. You only need two people to form a team, and once you're registered, just weigh-in weekly. You'll receive health tips from experts. Those who meet that goal will have a chance to win cash prizes.
Official certification of the record breaking will come after documentation of the event is submitted and reviewed.
ON THE WEB: http://scalebackalabama.com/