Focused On Fitness - June 14, 2007

   The phrase, "You're either with us, or against us" has quite a history. In this form or a variation of it, Jesus, George Orwell, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush all used it. In literature and fiction, it was used in Dirty Harry, Star Wars Episode III, Catch 22, Ben Hur and The Crucible. According to Wikipedia, it is a phrase, "commonly used in order to polarize situations and force the audience to either become allies or to accept the consequences as being deemed an enemy. As I say below, I was thrilled to see that Kelloggs will stop marketing some products to children unless the foods can meet its nutritional standards. As readers (or writers) of a fitness newsletter and all making an effort to improve our fitness and wellness, they would be counted as with us. They are part of the solution and not part of the problem. We face, however, an enormous task of trying to get more people with us and more people, companies, organizations and the government to be part of the solution. I am proud of each and every one of you for doing your part to make a difference. Who knows, maybe someday we will be listed in Wikipedia as the wellness revolution that got "everyone with us"!
   And finally, in a moment of silliness, I entered a WOWY Swimsuit Challenge to look good in my 20 year old black Speedos by this Labor Day. If you want to join in on the challenge, just click here. Your reward will be working out all summer and looking great in a swimsuit as an end result!

Featured Articles 
   Great Tips for a Happy, Healthy Father's Day - There's nothing Dad likes better on his big day than to hang out with his loved ones and ignore the stresses of bringin' home the bacon. Unfortunately, de-stressing often includes eating all the bacon he's been slaving to bring home. The typical American ritual involves something along the lines of Dad parking in his favorite recliner to catch the quadruple-header whilst the family supplies a never-ending buffet of bad food and beer. A really good day has more friends showing up, with more food, and even more beer. The upside is that this odd ritual makes Dad happy. The downside is that it creates habits and desires that will ensure a lot fewer Father's Days to come. Let's take a look at our most ingrained ideas about Dad's big day and how we might turn them into something sustainable. Continued...
   5 Weight Loss Gadgets That Need to be Invented - I once worked in an office with very, very slow computers. While I sat at my desk all day, feeling my behind spread by the minute, I had a brilliant idea of a gadget that would solve both problems. And what better time to reveal my magic, high-tech solution than Father's Day? In fact, I've got five weight loss gadgets I wish they'd invent and make work (the hard part). Continued...
   Test Your BBQ IQ! - Are you right if you think that barbecuing and grilling are the same thing and that hot dogs are the most popular grill item? Continued...

Health News Headlines 
    Kellogg tightens policies on marketing to children - Kellogg Co. said on Thursday that it would change the way it markets food to children and only promote products that meet certain nutritional standards, fending off threatened litigation. In conjunction with the new guidelines, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) said they would not proceed with a threatened lawsuit against the company.
    School-based obesity prevention promising - A multi-component health promotion program in schools may help excess weight gain among 12 to 13 year-olds, a Dutch study shows. "In the last decade, several international reports have addressed the significant increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents," the researchers write in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. These reports "underline the importance of developing effective, population-based preventive measures, specifically targeting the lower socioeconomic part of the population."
    Sugary drinks tied to extra pounds in preschoolers - Preschool children who are regularly given sugary drinks between meals are more likely to be overweight than their peers, new study findings suggest. The "empty" calories from sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit drinks have been blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, but not all studies have found evidence to support that claim.
    Simple model predicts diabetes in middle-age - Obesity, other cardiovascular risk factors and parents with diabetes predict the development of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged adults, according to findings published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Prediction of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus that have a definable onset can help to guide interventions and healthy policy development."
    Big U.S. employers propose health benefits overhaul - Some of the biggest U.S. employers said on Wednesday that health care coverage and retirement plans for American workers should be delivered by competing third-party benefit administrators such as banks, investment companies and insurers. Employers would continue to fund health insurance and retirement benefits, but would pool their purchasing power and outsource administrative functions to save money under the proposal.
    Giving antibiotics to babies boosts asthma risk - Children who got antibiotics as babies had a higher risk of developing asthma by age 7, Canadian researchers said on Monday. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to children under age 1 for a host of reasons, most often for lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia or upper respiratory tract infections like ear and sinus infections.
    Stressed-out types at risk for memory problems - People who are often stressed out or depressed are far more likely to develop memory problems than those with sunnier dispositions, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a finding that sheds light on early predictors of Alzheimer's disease. They said those who most often are anxious or depressed were 40 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a form of memory loss that is often a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia.
    Lifestyle changes help obese breast cancer women - Even if they remained obese, women who survived breast cancer cut their risk of dying from a recurrence of the disease if they had a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and exercised moderately, a study found on Friday.
    Women's midlife weight key to future diabetes risk - People carrying excess weight who aim to ward off diabetes should try to lose the pounds before they reach middle age, Australian researchers suggest. A woman's body mass index (BMI) in her late 40s was the strongest predictor of her risk of developing diabetes over the next eight years.

A little help for a friend 
   I remember years ago seeing a guy hitchhiking who either had some congenital problem or had been injured. Although I never pick up hitchhikers, I felt compassion for him and gave him a ride. He said that he had been in a car accident and was permanently disabled. I gave him the $5.00 in my pocket which was all the money that I had with me at that time. About an hour after I dropped him off, I saw him in a bagel shop paying for bagels with a $100.00 bill. I felt a little duped since I've never had a $100.00 bill in my life.
   Years later, much older and much wiser, I am helping another person, Henry Rono, and I am asking you to help him, too. If at some time you decide to become a Million Dollar Body Club member and get all of the benefits of the membership for just $2.99 a week, then could you please sign up with Henry as your coach. This would help him immensely to be able to continue coaching runners and teaching, which is his passion. Just follow this link and click on the Join the Club Maximize Your Results logo at the bottom of the page. Along with helping Henry, it would really mean a lot to me...

Our news is dominated by war and will be for many years to come. Mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers live each day in fear that their loved ones will be injured or killed in battles seemingly with no end. Those of us at home cannot take our minds off of these wars because they are life and death battles. But in a sense, we, too, are fighting life and death battles in our domestic war on obesity and the state of our health. As a father, it was gratifying to me to see a lead health news story this morning that Kellogg's was going to stop marketing some products to children unless the foods can meet its nutritional standards for calories, sugar, fat and sodium (albeit as a result of a threatened lawsuit). That is a skirmish won in the battle to stop the obesity epidemic that is claiming so many victims among our children and should bolster our confidence that someday we can reclaim our nation's heritage of being a healthy, dynamic and vibrant country that sets standards that the world will want to follow.

Free e-Books 
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    Big Fat Lies
    Easy Guide to Fitness
    Personal Guide to Fitness
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Be fit, be healthy and be a part of the solution!
    Richard Dafter