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Wyclef, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie Join Initiative To Help Millions Lose Weight

May 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Health, News

( Wyclef Jean, Steve Harvey, Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh and a host of other performers have joined forces to support the “50 Million Pound Challenge,” designed to address obesity in the black community and help millions of African Americans lose weight.

Spearheaded by celebrity physician Dr. Ian Smith of VH-1’s Celebrity Fit Club fame and sponsored by State Farm Insurance, The Challenge is a new initiative designed to help African Americans lose weight and take control of their personal health, while fighting off weight-related diseases that affect the black community.

No matter who you are or where you come from, we all need to take time to take care of our health,” Wyclef Jean said. “The Challenge is giving us a great opportunity to look out for our health and look out for each other. It’s helping us make the choices we know we need to make. We all have the power to lead healthier, longer lives. Let’s not waste a moment. We owe it to our loved ones. We owe it to ourselves. If we pull together, we can make a tremendous difference.”

Statistics shows that 10,000 Americans die every week from preventable illness related to poor diet and inactivity.

For African Americans, 80% of women and 67% of men face the deadly risks of excess weight.

On its 14-city tour, The Challenge has traveled to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Miami, Memphis, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Oakland and New Orleans.

After signing up, participants can see the total pounds lost by everyone taking The Challenge, and they can also find tips, tools and a private personal weight tracker to measure their own progress via

This is an historic opportunity to join hands as a community, take control of our health and save lives,” said Dr. Ian. “More than 50,000 have joined already, and we’ve only just begun. What started as a simple challenge has become a remarkable commitment that’s spreading across the entire community. Too many people are dying from preventable illnesses. The Challenge empowers people to get fit and give up the pounds that have frustrated so many for so long. It helps us take a giant leap forward towards leading longer, healthier lives.”

Free Challenge kits are available at participating State Farm agent offices, with a CD and brochure from Dr. Ian for health & food advice, and pedometer to measure steps.

By Alexis Jeffries

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