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.]

New York Times: “Sugary Drinks Take a Deathly Toll.”

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I came across the following article in the New York Times earlier this week, and although we aren’t in the midst of the 61 Day Challenge yet, it offers an excellent reminder of the dangers of consuming sugary drinks.

The first sentence is eye opening.

“Consumption of sugary drinks results in some 184,000 deaths worldwide each year, a new analysis found.”

Dr. Mozaffarian, Dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, sums it up perfectly with this quote:

“There’s no need to drink these beverages. They’re causing tens of thousands of deaths, and we should eliminate them from the food supply.”

You can read more from the New York Times’ article on sugary drinks here: http://nyti.ms/1KscgRw

 

Step No. 1 on Road to Better Health Is Saying “No” to “Liquid Candy”!

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At the 61 Day Challenge Kick Off (l to r): Dr. Reginald Eadie, Mayor Mike Duggan, Fox 2’s Roop Raj, and Pastor Solomon Kinloch, Jr. of Triumph Church

If you’ve been following the latest news about the “fat epidemic” in America, you probably know that two out of three adults in this country are now classified as “obese” or “overweight” . . . according to the latest data from the public health experts at the federal government.

But do you also know about the huge role that sugary drinks (aka “liquid candy”) now play in help in helping to make the good old USA the fattest place on Planet Earth?

According to the researchers, the average American adult now consumes an astonishing 150 pounds of sugar per year . . . compared to only about five pounds a century or so ago.

Pretty scary, don’t you think?

And there’s more.  In recent years, a team of nutrition experts at the Harvard University School of Public Health has been conducting a long-term study of sugar consumption in the U.S.  According to the Harvard experts, a sizable portion of the staggering sugar intake comes from soda pop and other sugary drinks guzzled by millions of us each day.

Of course, the worried nutritionists at Harvard also point out that the tidal wave of sugar is contributing heavily to soaring rates of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease each year.  Treating such sugar-linked ailments now costs a stunning $190 billion annually – and that scary price-tag now looms as a significant factor in driving up healthcare costs for all of us.

Let’s face it: today there’s simply no doubt that our national soda pop addiction is taking a huge toll on public health every day in America.

So what can we do to turn back the tsunami of “liquid candy” that now threatens the good health of all of us?

One very encouraging answer to that question emerged last Friday – on Halloween afternoon – at DMC Harper University Hospital . . . where more than 200 physicians, nurses, Detroit community leaders and gung-ho high school students from all across the Motor City got together to kick off the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge.

Along with several of my colleagues, I helped to launch the first Health Challenge a few years ago, as a badly needed public health education program in which hundreds of thousands of Detroit-area residents are asked to abstain (until midnight on Dec. 31) from fat-triggering soda pop, fried foods, candy and other sugar-laden foods . . . while also getting plenty of health-promoting exercise.  (To learn more about the Challenge: http://healthforlife.dmc.org/61days.)

Last Friday’s exciting event at Harper brought together community leaders and dozens of excited youngsters for a high-octane “pledge ceremony” in which all of us vowed to make “good food choices” during the holiday period that runs from now through New Year’s Eve.

Why did we take the pledge to say no to “liquid candy” and other “junk” foods this holiday season?

It’s a no-brainer, my friends.  After hearing about the increased average risk for diabetes (26 percent) among those who drink at least one 20-ounce soda pop every day (along with their 20-percent average increased risk for heart attack) . . . we are determined to protect our good health by eating and drinking more wisely during the next couple of months.

And if you aren’t part of the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge yet, just climb aboard and grab a seat – because it’s never too late for all of us to start improving our health by paying more attention to what we eat!

Excitement building for this year’s 61-Day Challenge: “Less Sugar, More Steps”

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This year’s 61 Day Challenge planning committee is gearing up for the 2014 challenge. Dr. Reginald Eadie, President of DMC Harper/HutzelHospital, and the creator of the 61-Day Challenge, started it as a way to help people take the first step toward better management of their health.

In the initial challenge, participants were asked to give up soda pop, then fried foods and soda pop in the second challenge. Both campaigns drew widespread success and national attention.

This year will add less sugar and more physical activity to the challenge. Also new this year is a broadened list of community and corporate partners.

Many participants in previous years realized better health and well-being from completing the challenge. Organizers want to spread those benefits to as many people as possible.

You will hear more about the 61- Day Challenge and the Oct. 31 Kick Off Event as the date nears. Plan to join your colleagues, neighbors, family and friends. Take the challenge and gain the power of good health habits.