DMC 61 Day Health Challenge Welcomes A New Partner: 1,600 of Detroit’s Finest

Welcome aboard, Detroit Police Department!

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If you’ve been keeping tabs on this year’s DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, you probably know that we just reached the halfway mark.

As of December first, I’m happy to say, the 2015 version of the annual DMC campaign to cut back on sugar and other unhealthy foods – while also exercising more and eating more fruit – is 50 percent of the way to its ultimate destination, New Year’s Day, 2016.

That’s exciting news, for sure.

But what you may not know yet about the ongoing Challenge is that we recently added a terrific new partner – the entire City of Detroit police force.

Some background, first: as you may recall, one of the most dynamic speakers at the huge “Kickoff Event” that launched this year’s DMC 61 Day Challenge (back on Oct. 30) was the hard-charging Detroit Police Chief, James Craig . . .  who told a cheering audience at the Detroit Medical Center that he was determined to help the approximately 1,600 police officers under his command to become more physically fit.

As the chief enthusiastically pointed out, maintaining a high level of physical fitness is essential for police officers who want to serve the public well.

And the two keys to accomplishing that important goal are avoiding the fat-triggering “empty calories” that can be found in such dietary villains as soda pop, candy, snack cookies and fried foods . . . while also getting plenty of healthy exercise

Well, I’m happy to report to you that Chief Craig meant what he said about trying to assist his police officers with the important task of becoming more fit.

No sooner had he returned to downtown Detroit Police Headquarters, in fact, than he began organizing a massive new effort to help DPD officers and support staff alike start eating healthier foods and increasing the amount of exercise they get each day.

The chief’s new fitness plan is exciting to contemplate – and it’s now about to start bearing fruit.

As of next Tuesday (December 8), the DPD will be partnering with the DMC in a year-long program designed to improve the physical fitness of the hard-working police officers and staff who protect us each day.

To that end, the new DPD-DMC health partnership will launch a special “90 Day Fit Challenge” Kickoff Event on the afternoon of December 8 (from 2-6 p.m.) in the Michigan Room of the Detroit Police Headquarters at 1031 3rd Street.

During that event, DMC staff will screen hundreds of police officers and support staff for weight, cholesterol, diabetes, BMI, vision and other health risk factors.

And here’s some more good news: as the new partnership gears up during the next few weeks, DPD staff will form teams that will compete with each other all year long to see which precinct can become the healthiest.

Sounds quite promising and hopeful, don’t you think?

You can bet that I’ll be in attendance at Police HQ for the Kickoff . . . and that I’ll be eager to “spread the gospel” of this this year’s DMC 61 Day Health Challenge: “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit!”

For more information about the DPD “Fit Challenge” Kickoff Event (which will be open to news media reporters and photographers) contact Arielle Berlin at ABerlin@dmc.org.

And please watch this space next week . . . when I’ll be back to give you a full update on the DPD Fit Challenge Kickoff and what took place!

Editorial Sheds Light On Soft Drink “Science”

1398714_10151964881904378_396548395_oA recent New York Times editorial has shed light on the practice of large cola companies financially backing studies into how healthy a soda pop diet is. Most interesting of all is their claim that Coca Cola are backing a study which concentrates on emphasizing “exercise as the best way to control obesity and to play down the importance of cutting calories.”

This article goes on to claim that consumption of soda pop is on the decline, and because of this cola companies are trying to add their opinions on health and soda pop. I urge everyone to read this editorial, by clicking on the link HERE, and I’ll leave you with this quote below. Food for thought indeed…

An analysis published in PLOS Medicine found that studies financed by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies reporting no industry sponsorship or financial conflicts of interest.

New to the 61 Day Challenge? You can learn more about the 61 Day Challenge here:www.dmc.org/61DayChallenge

Are More Americans Saying “NO” To Soda Pop?

An interesting article was sent to me a few days ago, it was a Gallup Poll that indicates that Americans are increasingly learning to say “No” to soda pop… This is heartening news indeed.

Majority of Americans Say They Try to Avoid Drinking Soda

Americans are more likely to say they actively try to avoid including soda or pop in their diet than 14 other foods, including sugar and fat. At least six in 10 U.S. adults say they are trying to steer clear of these drinks — regardless of whether they are diet or regular.

You can read the full Gallup article, and its interesting results by clicking HERE

The 61 Day Challenge is a health education campaign that includes: fitness, nutrition, health education and commitment. More specifically, it is an annual 61 day focus on healthy lifestyle management. People (or groups) that participate in the annual challenge are strongly encouraged to adhere to and manage the requested health challenge. This year’s health challenge is: The Less Sugar – More Steps challenge is a call to consume less refined sugars, substitute with complex sugars and increase physical activity.
Learn more at www.61DayChallenge.com!

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

 

Try To Stay Healthy This Sugar Season

I recently came across this article in the New York Times, and I urge everyone to read it. In this OP-ED, entitled “Sugar Season.It’s Everywhere, And Addictive,” the authors list the myriad health issues that can stem from sugar. They write,

“In a recent study, we showed that sugar, perhaps more than salt, contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. Evidence is growing, too, that eating too much sugar can lead to fatty liver disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and kidney disease.”

The OP-ED continues, stressing the addictive nature of sugar, how sugar is everywhere in our lives, and how promoting “the consumption of whole, natural foods” can help us avoid the sweet stuff this sugar season.

You can read the article in its entirety HERE.

Join the 61 Day Challenge!

To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on:   www.61daychallenge.com

Obesity and Inactivity Rates Still Rising

In the annual “America’s Health Rankings”, a list calculated by the United Health Foundation (UHF), the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention, both obesity and inactivity rates were still on the rise. The list assess each state’s performance on 27 core health measures, but perhaps the most important information that came to light was the following:

According to the report, U.S. residents are more sedentary than ever before, despite encouraging findings in last year’s report, and it is leading to greater prevalence of chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Specifically, the report found that:
•29.4% of adults are obese, a 7% increase from 2013;
•23.5% of all residents are considered sedentary, up 3% from 2013; and
•9.6% of adults live with diabetes, more than double the number living from 20 years ago.

You can read the full article here. This again highlights the importance of healthy diet and exercise, and is another reminder of how the #61DayChallenge can help you with your fitness and health goals.

Join the 61 Day Challenge!

To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on:   www.61daychallenge.com

Here’s How to Avoid the “Fat Attacks” That Too Often Mar the Holiday Season

Let the holidays begin!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time once again to launch the season of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes . . . cornbread drenched in melted butter . . . and the sugar-loaded soft drinks and cocktails that all too often inflame our appetites and lead to massive over-eating.

Let’s face it, my friends: for many of us, the holiday season has long been a license to gorge on huge helpings of calorie-loaded mashed potatoes and grease-laden turkey stuffing (along with the 20-ounce cola drinks and the snack-time goodies) which can trigger a runaway fat attack.

But let’s hang on a minute.  Before we dive into that second piece of gooey pecan pie, let’s ask ourselves: do we really have to consume all those thousands of fat-building calories in order to celebrate the holidays with good fellowship and good will to all?

Surprisingly enough, the answer is a resounding “no”!

For all of us who’ve taken the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge Pledge to abstain from sugary drinks, fried foods and “junk foods” until the end of the year, the good news is that there’s a better way to enjoy the holidays than stuffing ourselves with needless calories.

So what’s the first step on the road to making sure this holiday season doesn’t leave you feeling like a leftover stuffed sausage at the end of a Roman banquet?

The answer can be found in a single word: moderation.

To understand why that word is so important, consider this single fact: the typical Thanksgiving feast at grandma’s place (turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato, mashed potato, cornbread, greens, pumpkin or pecan pie with whipped cream and beer, wine or spirits for the adults) often adds up to a whopping 3,500 calories . . . which turns out to be the same number of calories contained in a pound of fat.

A disturbing thought?

You bet it is.  Now add in the “extras” that so often accompany the holidays (those chocolate doughnuts for breakfast at grandma’s, and the pizza-blowout at lunchtime, with plenty of peppermint sticks and cheesy-flapdoodles in between) . . . and you can see why this time of year is such a calorie-trap for all of us.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

To avoid the dangers of overeating and overdrinking during the holidays, a really helpful strategy is: eat and drink more slowly than usual . . . while also eating less of each item on the menu.

And while we’re at it, here are a few other holiday “tips” designed to help us achieve moderation and cut down on the holiday calorie-count.

  • Eat a small, low-fat and high-fiber meal (fruit salad and a cereal bar?) before that giant feast at grandma’s, so you’ll feel less temptation to gorge on the mashed potatoes.
  • Drink less alcohol before the feast . . . since alcohol is notorious for its ability to inspire the human appetite.
  • A half-hour before the Big Dining Event, fill up on water or a sugar-free beverage.
  • As the holiday meal begins in earnest, follow the “Three-Quarters Rule” by loading 75 percent of your plate with non-fatty, low-sugar foods such as vegetables, fruit salad and lean meat.

 

My friends, there’s no doubt that the holidays represent a special challenge for all of us who’ve taken the “DMC Pledge” to improve our health by cutting back on sugar and exercising more between now and the end of the calendar year.

But there’s also no doubt that we can meet that challenge . . . by using our heads and thinking about every forkful and spoonful we put into our mouths at this festive time of the year.

Here’s wishing all of us a joyful, happy and healthy holiday season, as we gather to say thanks for all our blessings in 2014!

[To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on:   www.61daychallenge.com]