Burning Junk Food Calories with Exercise Is a Whole Lot Harder Than It Looks!

TRUE OR FALSE: Guzzling a 20-ounce soda pop won’t increase your chances of getting fat . . . provided that you exercise for a few minutes soon after downing that sugar-laden bottle of bubbly.
The correct answer, of course, is FALSE.

Although many people don’t realize it, the amount of exercise required to “burn off” the calories from junk foods such as soda pop, cupcakes, cheesy puffs and milkshakes is actually huge. Example: Let’s say you decide to slurp up that 20-ounce container of fizz-pop and then eliminate the 250 extra sugar-calories you just took in by walking briskly for a while. Not a bad idea . . . until you discover that you’ll have to walk at least five miles just to burn your way through the jumbo-sized dose of fat-building sugar contained in those 20 ounces of cola.

Pretty shocking, right?

Ready for another startling example of how exercise can’t be counted on to save us from the health-threatening consequences of making poor food choices?

This time, let’s say you decide to wolf down a typical bakery cupcake covered with gooey, mouthwatering chocolate frosting—then “run off” the calories on the nearest treadmill or outdoor track.
Okay, fine. Before you start wolfing, however, you might want to look at some recent health data from the U.S. Government. According to the experts, you’ll have to run more than four miles without stopping just to neutralize the 400-450 calories in that scrumptious cupcake. The point here is a simple one that can help all of us: Most of the time, it’s impossible to overcome the negative effects of eating junk foods with exercise!

As a physician and hospital administrator, I’m absolutely convinced that educating ourselves about our food and exercise choices is a key step on the road to better health. That’s why I helped to create the upcoming 2014 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge in which hundreds of thousands of Detroit and Southeast Michigan residents will be challenged to abstain from soda pop, fried foods and junk foods during the approaching holiday season, while also exercising more often. (To learn more about the Challenge and the gala “Kickoff Event” set for Oct. 31 at the DMC, just click on www.61DayChallenge.com).

I hope you’ll join us during the exciting and health promoting challenge that’s about to begin. And I also hope you’ll join me in thinking about one other very interesting food fact the researchers recently unearthed. If you decide to enjoy a juicy apple for your next snack, you’ll only have to stroll along for a mere 19 minutes in order to burn those 42 calories off!

Link Between Sugary Soda and Accelerated Aging

61daysPyramidA recent article which talks about the link between drinking sugary soda and accelerated aging, offers another prescient reminder of the health benefits of giving up soda pop. The Washington Post piece, which refers to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, says that as well as diabetes and obesity, soda pop drinkers may also suffer from the effects of accelerated aging.

“We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight, but this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight,” said psychiatry professor Elissa Epel, a senior author of the study mentioned in the article.

To read the full Washington Post article, entitled “Study: Sugary sodas linked to accelerated aging” please click HERE and share with those trying to give up soda pop.

You can also read more about the 61 Day Challenge that kicks off next week HERE.

Are You Ready for the Annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge?

61daysPyramidThis Year’s Theme: “Less Sugar, More Steps!” 

Here’s a quick question for all of us who are interested in promoting good health for ourselves and for our children.

Q.What do you think would happen if you sat down every afternoon and gobbled up 18 teaspoons of sugar in a row?

(If you answered, “You’d get fat!” please go immediately to the head of the class . . . where you might be surprised to learn that the typical 20-ounce soda contains every one of those 18 teaspoons of sugar – along with several other ingredients that can be detrimental to your good health!)

Pretty shocking, right?

It sure is – especially when you consider the additional fact (recently announced by the federal government) that two out of three adults and one out of three children are either obese or overweight in the America of 2014.

Put all of those facts together, and you don’t need a Ph.D. to understand that cutting back on our daily consumption of sugary drinks can be a key strategy in avoiding many of the problems (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, you name it) that now pose major threats to our good health.

All of which takes me to an important announcement I want to share with you today:

The annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge is about to begin!

This year’s Health Challenge – during which hundreds of thousands of Detroit-area residents will be encouraged to cut back on sugary drinks and calorie-rich fried foods while increasing their daily exercise – is set to kick off at 2 p.m. on Friday, October. 31 in the Kresge Auditorium at DMC Harper University Hospital.

Once again this year, the Health Challenge will focus our attention on the crucial links between nutrition and exercise and good health . . . while also encouraging all of us to act on these important insights.

As a physician and a hospital administrator who’s passionate about education and helped launch the Health Challenge several years ago, I’m very excited about the message we’re going to be sending throughout the 61 days of this approaching holiday season (Nov. 1-Dec. 31).

Together, we’re going to meet the challenge of living a healthier lifestyle by living with “Less Sugar and More Steps!” – and the action is all set to begin on October 31.

See you there!