By: Rizoh

      After losing almost 100 pounds, "American Idol" winner and R&B singer Ruben Studdard wants to help others lose weight. The Birmingham, Alabama native has asked the 25% of his state’s residents who are obese to shed 10 pounds in eight weeks.

      Studdard enrolled in a weight-loss program this summer and began eating healthy with successful results.  "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," said the 28-year-old singer, whose third album, The Return, was released in October by J Records.

      Studdard said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he wanted to get in shape "because I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature."

      Scale Back Alabama, an eight-week weight-loss campaign, kicks off Jan. 4 with an event featuring Ruben Studdard. The goal of the program is to help Alabamians lose a total of 10 million pounds by March 2007.The campaign is being jointly sponsored by Alabama‘s hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Dairies. At the conclusion of the program, winners will be announced and awarded various prizes.