Roz Thompson “Knocks the Ball Out of the Park” As 2015 DMC Health Challenge Comes to a Close

        Have you heard that old saying, “Time really flies when you’re having fun?”

        In the case of the 2015 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, that ancient maxim seems especially true. Has it really been more than eight weeks since we launched our exciting journey together through the world of “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit”?

Indeed it has.

But before we declare the DMC’s 2015 holiday health-education campaign to be a ringing success and start wishing each other a Happy New Year, I want to take a moment to salute yet another Challenge participant for her outstanding diet-and-exercise accomplishments during the past two months.

Her name is Rosalind (“Roz”) Thompson – and she recently told me (with totally understandable pride) how she managed to lose about 20 pounds during the Health Challenge, while also improving her score on a blood-sugar test designed to help measure her risks for developing adult-onset diabetes.

For Ms. Thompson – a veteran nurse (RN, MSN) who also owns an MBA and has enjoyed a fabulous, 37-year career as a care provider at the DMC – the Challenge began in earnest after she received an alarmingly high blood-sugar score during a similar test back in October.

Troubled by that score and by the fact that she was also significantly overweight, the hard-working Ms. Thompson (who currently serves as Clinical Coordinator of Inpatient Psychiatry at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit) decided eight weeks ago that she was going to take the Challenge “Pledge” – and would therefore refrain from consuming the “empty calories” contained in candy, soda pop, doughnuts and other “junk” foods . . . while also engaging in moderate exercise frequently and including more fruit in her daily diet.

And she did!

“I gave up my Ruby Red Squirt [soda pop],” a proud Roz Thompson told me the other day, “along with my fried chicken and other sweets. And I want to thank you – and the DMC Challenge – for providing me with the motivation I needed to better manage my blood sugar and lose weight!”

Like the triumphant Roz Thompson, hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents in recent weeks have benefited from the lowered health risks and the sense of empowerment that can flow from making the decision to cut out the nutrition-less sugar in their lives and begin exercising more often in order to improve their overall health.

Among the beneficiaries of this year’s challenge, we can also include many of the 1,600 officers and staffers at the Detroit Police Department.  Led by their health-savvy Chief James Craig, hundreds of DPD members worked enthusiastically to meet the goals of this year’s challenge – and will now go on to continue meeting them in a year-long health-and-fitness partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

As the third annual version of the DMC Challenge winds down and the New Year looms, it’s good to know that so many Detroit-area residents have “gotten the message” – and that many of them will continue to work hard in the coming year at “eating healthier” and “exercising more often” in order to enjoy better health.

Here’s wishing all of us a healthy and happy New Year . . . and I’ll see you again in October for the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge of 2016!

[To learn more about the DMC Challenge and how you can continue to benefit by eating better and exercising more during 2016, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

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!

FDA advice on chemical in fries, chips and coffee

A recent Detroit Free Press article examines the FDA’s advice for reducing acrylamide, a chemical “produced when fries turn crispy and toast turns brown,’ that is present in fries, chips and coffee.

Crispy French fries and crunchy potato chips were never health foods, what with all the calories, fat and salt. But consumers just got a reminder that there’s one more thing to worry about when they indulge in such foods: a chemical called acrylamide that might cause cancer.

In light of new research on rodents about a possible cancer link, the FDA is now recommending that potato growers to ” favor low-sugar varieties that produce less acrylamide and urging processors to decrease frying temperatures, tweak ingredients and avoid certain storage practices.” For now, acrylamide looks like it can be added to the ever growing list of health risks associated with eating fries…

You can view the complete Free Press article at http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201311231442/FEATURES08/311230042

As part of our 61 Day Challenge we are encouraging people to “take the pledge” and give up fried food and soda pop for the months of November and December – learn more at www.dmc.org/61Days