Ruben Studdard to Star in Alabama Diet Campaign
American Idol winner Ruben Studdard wants those in his home state of Alabama to follow in his footsteps, now that he is nearly 100 lbs. lighter.
The 28-year-old "Velvet Teddy Bear" – whose third album, The Return, was released in October – is asking the 25 percent of Alabama's overweight residents to shed 10 pounds in eight weeks. Should the "Scale Back Alabama" 8-week plan work, the state will lose a total of 10 million lbs.
"I'm not where I want to be, but I'm on the right track, and I'm excited about encouraging other Alabamians to begin their own weight-loss journeys, the Idol winner, whose own weight-loss success was based on a regimen of diet and exercise, told the Associated Press.
The crooner also said he saw the importance of getting into shape "because I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature."
The state-wide campaign, sponsored by Alabama's hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Dairies, is due to kick off Jan. 4 with an event starring Studdard.
"I felt like it was necessary for me to combat those issues at a young age before it became a bigger issue," he said. "I went to this place called Duke Diet & Fitness Center for a month and learned how to change my eating habits."