Tifton - Studies show that obesity and physical inactivity may account for 25 to 30 percent of several major cancers. Cancers that are often hard to treat. But money raised for relay for life goes toward research to develop new treatments against the often fatal disease, and some folks in Tifton are doing all they can to avoid getting the disease while helping others through it.
"They tell me if you hadn't put this competition on I would still be fat and still be miserable and I would be more apt to have heart disease," says Cindy Spurlin, an Exercise Physiologist. She sparked The Biggest Loser, Tifton style, after watching the show right here on NBC.
Spurlin says, "I thought it would give people a competitive avenue around New Years to lose weight." And at the same time, raise money for Relay for Life, to help fight cancer.
For phase I, 193 people signed up to compete. Together, they lost close to a ton of weight, 1,849 pounds, an average of 9.68 pounds per person in less than eight weeks. Sommer Dunston lost just a slight bit more. She says, "I did phase I of biggest loser and lost ten pounds on it, so I decided to go ahead and do phase II because I have a little bit more to lose."
But there's more to the competition than the numbers on the scale. Sommer says, "Your pants fit a little bit better and you feel a little better about yourself." And besides that, she says, "What have you got to lose beside a little weight?"
And who doesn't want to gain some extra cash? The money raised by the $20 entry fee will be split. Half goes to Relay for Life and half to the Biggest Loser.
Sign up for Phase II of the biggest loser is underway. Organizers say 140 people have signed up so far, they would like to have 200 people participate. The deadline to register is Friday, March 10th. The winner will be announced at Relay for life on April 28th.
Want to join the team? Contact Cindy Spurlin at Rehabilitation Services of Tifton at 229-386-5200.