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NBA All-Star and Olympic Athlete LeBron James and Dr. Ian Smith Celebrate the Launch of The 50 Million Pound Challenge's First 'Citywide Team Challenge,' Kicking off in Cleveland, Ohio
Date:6/18/2008

ead the FIT 4 CLEVELAND team. This is a great way to show how easy it is to stay in shape."

"People all across the country are coming together to take control and lose the weight that has been negatively impacting their health. There are more than 10,000 Challenge teams helping members lose on average 25% more weight. That's a winning formula," said Dr. Ian. "With our first city challenge, that success will only multiply. Together, we have the ability to resist temptation and do what it takes to reverse the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our country and create a culture of healthy living."

Backed by hundreds of civic and celebrity champions, elected officials and national health and civic groups, The Challenge is one of the most far-reaching initiatives of its kind. Anyone can join at http://www.50millionpounds.com, an online support community that tallies total pounds lost and offers free resources, including a personal weight tracker to measure progress. People can also get a free Challenge kit with a CD, brochure, menu and fitness advice, and a pedometer to count steps. Kits and all Challenge resources are free, thanks to sponsor State Farm(R). On the website, people can form and join as many teams as they want. The FIT 4 CLEVELAND team is open to all Cleveland residents and will help the city track its collective progress.

A study in the July 2007 New England Journal of Medicine found that close friends and family set a powerful example for each other -- they tend to gain but can also lose weight together. The Challenge aims to reach its goal by making it easier for millions to fight the epidemic of excess weight threatening half of all Americans. More than 135 million Americans and two in three adults are overweight; double the rate a few decades ago. Each week, 10,000 die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other illness related to inactivity and diet. African Ameri
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SOURCE The 50 Million Pound Challenge; State Farm
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