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 (Feb. 20) delivering fitness messages to schools in hopes of helping Alabamians shed some pounds. “I don’t want y’all to be like me. I don’t want y’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 Montgomery’s Capitol Heights Junior High School. “I want y’all to continue working out for the rest of your life so you don’t have to start all over like Ruben Studdard, trying to get yourself back into shape,” he said. The once weighty Studdard, said in December he had lost nearly 100 pounds since starting a weight-loss program in the summer. Studdard’s 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. “This generation of young persons in Alabama … could be the first generation that does not outlive their parents in age span,” Morton said. “That’s frightening.” Two years ago the Alabama Obesity Task Force implemented guidelines that changed school lunch menus and what is sold in campus vending machines in efforts to improve nutrition. Last summer the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington gave Alabama a “B plus” for its nutrition policy, citing tough restrictions on junk food and carbonated drinks.
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