Hospital president rallies Detroiters to live healthier - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Hospital president rallies Detroiters to live healthier

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No soda pop. No fried food. 61 days.

That's the mantra permeating through the Detroit Medical Center and its partners across metropolitan Detroit as the 61 Day Challenge is set to kick off on Thursday, Oct. 31.

As the brainchild of Reginald Eadie, M.D., president of DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, emergency medicine physician, author and community activist, the 61 Day Challenge is an expansion of 2012's Say No to Soda Pop campaign. The initiative received national attention as hundreds of local Detroiters took the pledge and gave up the high sugary drink for the month of November.

"Saying no to soda pop just wasn't enough and the community deserved more," Eadie said of why he expanded the campaign this year to include fried food and extended it to 61 days. "We are eating ourselves to death. With this campaign, we hope to educate the public on the dangers of these excessively consumed items and get them to pledge to make better choices about what they're putting in their bodies."

Soda pop is the No. 1 source of added sugar and extra calories in the American diet. A 20-ounce bottle of regular pop can have 17-19 teaspoons of sugar and up to 290 calories. Those who think they're making a healthy choice by opting for diet pop fail to realize that artificial sweeteners found in diet pop actually increase cravings. Adults who drink one or more sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages each day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese.

Likewise, fried food is high in fat and calories and robbed of nutrients. Fried foods clogs arteries, which leads to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. When cooking oil is heated to frying temperatures, cancer-causing chemicals are formed and permeate your food.

"The evidence is overwhelming that soda pop and fried food cause unbelievable harm to our bodies," Eadie said.

The 61 Day Challenge kicks off at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 with a rally at Sinai-Grace and events at other DMC hospitals. Eadie has already begun making the rounds at local schools to educate students on the dangers of soda pop and fried food. Students will be participating in various activities throughout the 61 days to share what they've learned with their classmates and families. Whole Foods Market will be holding weekly workshops at Sinai-Grace, sharing nutritional tips and information about healthy eating. These events are open to the public.

You can follow the campaign on Twitter at @PagingDrEadie. For more information, visit healthforlife.dmc.org/61days.

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