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The Challenge: Make It A Million (Pounds Lost That Is)

Celebrity Fit Club Expert & Author Dr. Ian Smith's National Campaign Ramps

Up Efforts to Lose the First Million

CHICAGO, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Since its launch in April, more than a quarter million people have registered to take The 50 Million Pound Challenge and have lost more than three-quarters of a million pounds. Challenge founder Dr. Ian Smith is proud of the early success and hopes those early adopters will lead the way to a million pounds lost by the final stop of the initiative's 14-city kick-off tour in New Orleans on November 24.

To reward and encourage people to get healthy, grow the community of participants, and hit the one million total pounds lost milestone, The Challenge is offering two exclusive opportunities to win a trip to join Dr. Ian in New Orleans for that final stop, which is at the State Farm Bayou Classic. Participants who regularly update their online Personal Weight Trackers and those who get others to join The Challenge will automatically be entered for chances to win this incredible trip that includes airfare courtesy Southwest Airlines, hotel accommodations and tickets to the Bayou Classic football game and the Battle of the Bands events. To learn more, go to

"Our kickoff tour is bringing much needed attention to the issue. People are 'giving up the pounds, not the fight,' and taking action to make healthier lifestyle choices," said Dr. Ian. "We've had great early success and are within sight of our first major milestone -- a million pounds lost. Now is the time to join if you haven't, and rededicate yourself if you have. Play a role in this historic effort. We gained the weight together; we can take it off together. Collectively, we can reverse the deadly trends of weight-related illness. Take The Challenge. It's free. It's fun. The reward is worth the weight -- it can save your life!"

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that close friends and family set a powerful example for each other -- they tend to gain weight together, but can also to lose it together. The Challenge aims to reach its 50 million pound goal by making it easier for millions to team up and lose weight to fight the epidemic of weight-related health issues threatening half of all Americans. The African-American community has been especially hard hit: 80% of women and 67% of men face higher risk of illnesses related to diet and inactivity like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

To lead the fight back, this historic campaign by the African-American community is supported by individual community leaders and national civic and health organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc., 100 Black Men of America Inc., the National Urban League, the American Council on Exercise and the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural and Minority Medicine.

About Dr. Ian Smith

Dr. Ian is a diet expert on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and author of the NY Times #1 best-sellers Fat Smash Diet and Extreme Fat Smash Diet, and other works of fiction and non-fiction. He hosts his own TV and radio shows, BET's Meet the Faith and HealthWatch on American Urban Radio Network. Dr. Ian is a contributor to The View and Men's Health Magazine. He has filed reports and written for NBC Nightly News, Today Show, Essence, Ebony, People, Cosmopolitan and University of Chicago's Medicine on the Midway. He is a new dad and lives with his family in Chicago.

About State Farm

State Farm(R) insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 75 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.7 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

SOURCE The 50 Million Pound Challenge
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