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April 17, 2007     Cape Gazette
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Hr.ALTVtt & FITNESS As part of its 50 million Pound Challenge weight loss program, par- ticipating State Farm insurance agents are offering free kits to those wanting to shed pounds. In addition to a pedometer, the kit includes a compact disc and booklet featuring information from Dr. Inn K. Smith, program developer, on weight-loss and dietary tips and the host of health problems obesity causes. The 50 Million Pound Challenge is looking for a few good losers State Farm's national program offering weight-10ss help By Henry J. Evans Jr. Cape Gazette staff America is suffering a crisis of huge pro- portion. For many, stepping onto the bath- room scale is an ongoing source of anguish as the numbers displayed balloon like the waistline that stands above. Maintaining optimum body weight can be tough. But a new program developed by State Farm Insurance is aimed at helping those willing to take its challenge lose 50 million pounds nationwide. Jeanine O'Donnell, a State Farm Insurance agent in Nassau, said the compa- ny spent a few years developing the pro- gram it launched April 7 in Washington, D.C. The national kickoff featured enter- tainers Patti Labelle, Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Omarion, Kelly Price, Kimberley Locke and others. The pro- gram's goal: Getting African-Americans to collectively lose 50 million pounds. The company estimates it will take two years to accomplish the goal. How it works O'Donneli said the program targets changing diet and exercise habits among African-Americans. "[But] we're not turning away anyone who would like to participate in the chal- lenge," she said. State Farm Insurance agents throughout the country - including all of them in Sussex County - are participating in the weight-loss challenge. Agents such as O'Dounell are providing participants with free kits, which contain a pedometer, a booklet - Give Up the Pounds, Not the Fight : and a compact disc featur- ing Dr. Inn K. Smith, the physician who developed the program for State Farm. Smith, author of the New York Times bestseller "The Fat Smash Diet" also hosts radio programs on the American Urban Radio Network and programs on Black Entertainment Television. The kit's compact disc can be viewed using Windows or Macintosh-based com- puters. It contains information, delivered by Smith, to motivate participants to lose pounds and gain health. "Getting people to open the kit is the first step. Really, this is all you need. You don't need to have a lot of money to spend. Put on the pedometer and go take a walk. Read the booklet and listen to Dr. Smith. He gives you subtle changes that you can make in your diet that can make a huge difference in weight loss," O'Donnell said. The booklet contains information that defines healthy body weight; tells how being overweight effects blood pressure, causes diabetes, and has been linked to can- cer and how, generally, being overweight shortens life expectancy. Smith said he developed the program because a middle-aged woman who had battled obesity and diabetes most of her life sent him a challenging email. "If you know so much about the prob- lems of obesity and health disparities, then why don't you do something about them?" the woman.asked Smith. Smith said that was when he realized that talking about weight loss, as he had done for years, was only half the solution. "l decided to put a plan together and that's what you will find in 'The Continued on page 31 Diq choices can help prevent breast cancer Two studies released in March shed some light on simple ways to reduce your breast cancer risk. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that found women who ate foods high in lignans had a- 17 percent lower risk of breast cancer com- pared to women who didn't eat foods with a lot of lignans. Following the general dietary guidelines for a healthy and pru- dent diet, that is, consuming large amounts and varieties of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain cereal products daily - all foods rich in l!gnans - may also help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Lignans are a compound found in plant foods. Besides fruits and vegetables a diet rich in plant foods includes whole-grain breads - sprouted breads - and cereals, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta and beans. Whole grains such as millet, quinoa, amaranth and brown rice are easy ways to include truly unprocessed, whole grains into one's diet. Beans are also an important food that are often left out of a typical American meal. Ground flax seed is another food one can add to cereals or other foods to increase one's lignan intake. Flax seed oil is an oil taken from flax seed, and the oil and the ground flax itself each have dif- ferent potential health benefits. It is the ground seed that is high in HEALTH TOPICS - lignans, not really the oil. A second recent paper reviewed published studies to understand the relationship of blood vitamin D levels and breast cancer risks. In other ecological and observa- tional studies, inadequate photo- synthesis or oral intake of vitamin D have been associated with high incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer. However, the dose response relationship has not real- ly been fully studied. A second recent paper reviewed published studies to understand the relationship of blood vitamin D levels and breast Cancer risks. In other ecological and observa- tional studies, inadequate photo- synthesis or oral intake of vitamin D have been associated with high incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer. However, the dose response relationship has not real- ly been fully studied. Their analy- sis suggest that very moderate exposure to sunlight and an intake of 2,000 international" units per day of vitamin D3 could raise the blood levels of vitamin D to 52 nanograms per milliliter, which is the level associated With reduc- tion by 50 percent in incidence of breast cancer, according to obser- vational studies. The beauty of these two reports is in their simplicity of findings. Industrial-age living has taken us out of the practice of growing our own foods. The convenience of eating out of a store, with processed and transported foods has a hidden price, usually related to the lowered nutrition in processed foods, and the added burden from preservatives, pesti- cides, additives and colors. Processing foods is also associat- ed with the consumption of foods lower in lignans. Urban living also is associated with long work days indoors and therefore less sun exposure in general than those who spend their work day outside. The beau- ty of the recommendations to eat more plant-based, lignan-rich foods like whole grains, beans and vegetables and to maintain ade- quate vitamin D levels lies in the very fact that it is simple to do. Lowering your breast cancer risk with simple, accessible changes to your lifestyle and diet. That makes great sense. Simple application of naturo- pathic principles of fresh, whole foods and adequate time in nature is a time honored and scientifical- ly sound recommendation. I would say that I find the obstacle for patients lies not in validating the soundness of the dietary and lifestyle recommendations for cancer prevention but in the chal- lenging process of actually mak- ing those changes and following the recommendations. I will share two Other core sim- ple recommendations for breast cancer concerns. The first is intake of 200 mcg of selenium per day. The second is applying a small amount of St. John's wort oil - the flowers inleused in olive oil - to one's after-shower care of the breast and underarm area. This oil provides antioxidant, bioflavinoid-rich nutrition direct- ly to the tissue. It provides regu- lar gentle lymphatic drainage to prevent stagnant lymph, and it provides a deeper awareness of the breast tissue, which aids your monthly self=exam.. The truth is that pressures and stress that come up in life will often leave food preparation to convenience. The real trick lies in creating habits in your kitchen that retain the convenience but also includes the beans, whole grains and high fresh vegetable intake. There is not a reason to deny a person's desire to have a quick meal or a food ready to eat. But to deny health in sake of con- venience is not really necessary. One simple change you can make is to consider the vitality of the" foods you choose to eat. Think about what the food looked like as it grew and if the targeted food is so far from any resem- blance of its natural state, consid- er that it likely has some of its nutrition removed. Place as many organic, fresh foods in your gro- cery cart as possible, and strive to purchase foods from local sources. Stock your shelves with whole grains and beans, and make a practice of cooking once or twice a week these foods to last you for a few days. Then when it is time to prepare your meal, you really need to focus only on what two fresh vegetables to add to your premade beans and grain. Make the cancer preventing foods be the main focus of the meal, .and the higher fat foods such as animal meats, fish, dairy and nuts and seeds be the side dishes or even garnish. Your health is worth it. Kim Furtado, N.D., is a naturo- pathic doctor who specializes in science-based, patient-focused, natural medicine For more infor- mation or an appointment, call 945-2107. To find out more about a local school nutrition communi- ty service program (SNAC), visit www.thewellnet.org.