MONTGOMERY, Alabama — In the spirt of weight loss, Alabamians stepped on a truck scale and broke the Guinness World Record.
Exactly 157 people stepped onto the scale on Jan. 8 and collectively weighed 30,400 pounds to kick off the 10th year of the state's largest weight loss and exercise program called Scale Back Alabama, the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/1laPCUm) reported. A British company set the previous record in 2010 weighing 130 people at one time.
Even though the Scale Back Alabama world record attempt was pre-approved by Guinness, the official certification of the record breaking will come following submission and review of the event documentation.
Six years ago, the city of Montgomery was tied for having the highest obesity rate in the country at 34.7 percent. These days, it is down to 27.1 percent. Now, there are 30,000 fewer people in the River Region who are obese, said health expert Michael Briddell.
"We've got a problem here in Alabama, and we've had a problem here in Montgomery," he said. "It's called obesity. And it doesn't just stop there. Obesity often comes with heightened risks of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, a whole host of bad things. And yet it is so easy and simple to remedy."
One of out every three adults in Alabama is obese, according to Scale Back Alabama. This is almost triple the number that was obese just 25 years ago. The state ranks first in diabetes, and second in hypertension — both conditions have strong ties to obesity.
"It's very difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of Scale Back Alabama," said Tom Miller, 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."