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The Daily Mile! Combating childhood obesity one step at a time

10 Mar, 16 | by BJSM

By Elaine Wyllie

@_thedailymile

The Daily Mile is a Health and Wellbeing (H&WB) physical activity initiative which developed organically in a large Scottish primary school and nursery class in 2012. It began after a volunteer in the school observed that the children were unfit. It is sustainable over the long term because it meets the needs of childhood and is loved by children, parents and staff.

daily mile logoIn a Physical Education (PE) class in February 2012, children in Primary 6 were asked to run round the football field to see how fit they were. Most could not even get halfway round before they had to stop for breath.  The PE teacher confirmed that most of the children were so unfit that they were exhausted by the warm up!  Critically, the children recognized that they weren’t fit and they wanted to do something about it.  After discussion with them, it was agreed that they would run round the field for 15 minutes each day to see what would happen.

KILLERMONT PS 1

Images are with permission from Killermont Primary, Glasgow

After a month, the children’s fitness was transformed.  Parents, children and staff all agreed that the children should keep running daily.  The children measured the path and 5 laps was equal to I mile.  In their 15 minutes the children were averaging 5 laps and the Daily Mile was born.  By June 2012, all 360 children in the school were doing the Daily Mile and the 60 children in the nursery joined in towards the end of 2012.

Four years later, the Daily Mile is still going strong, and it has spread to 500 schools in Scotland and many more across the rest of the UK. Daily Mile pilot programs are being carried out in schools in Flanders, Belgium and South Africa.  More and more schools are starting every day.

While all schools report that the Daily Mile produces transformational change in children’s fitness levels, crucially, it also benefits children’s mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing – some children show improvement in their behavior.

The reason that the Daily Mile is such a success in part because it happens where all of our children are every day – in their schools and nurseries. An existing path can be used or a new path created – after that, the Daily Mile is free.

How the Daily Mile works:

  • It happens in a 15 minute turnaround and in this time children average a mile
  • It’s fully inclusive – every child takes part
  • Children with ASN benefit from doing it
  • Children go outside in almost all weathers
  • They run/jog/walk in their school clothes
  • A path where 5 – 8 laps equals 1 mile is ideal
  • It’s non-competitive – it’s fun and it’s social
  • Children own their daily mile and choose to run, jog or walk

Barriers to participation are removed:

  • Children with mobility difficulties take part
  • No kit: no ‘cool’ kit, no costs, no forgetting or losing kit, no time wasted changing, no body image issues, no revealing your body
  • No equipment, no set up and no tidy up
  • Weather is a benefit, not a barrier
  • No need for parents to transport children
  • No staff training needed
  • No need to be sporty – it’s H&WB not PE
  • Children are safe in their own playground

Preliminary results from a major longitudinal study that begun in October 2015 (by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh) show that obesity levels in the Scottish primary school where the Daily Mile started are almost half of the national Scottish average.  Dr Colin Moran, Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling who leads the study says that the findings are consistent with that they would expect from children participating in the Daily Mile for three and a half years.

The next steps for the Daily Mile are the (i) creation of The Daily Mile Foundation which will support and promote its growth in the UK and beyond, and (ii) embedment in the Health and Well being curriculum of schools and nurseries.

For more information: 

Website: www.thedailymile.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_thedailymile

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedailymileforschools

It’s National Obesity Awareness Week and now more than ever we need action.

14 Jan, 16 | by BJSM

By Stephen Morrison @HowManyMiles_

Now more than ever, we need action to prevent the growing trend in obesity and inactivity. Consider this as we encourage you and your peers to sign up for the UK’s National Obesity Forum’s JanUary campaign.

obesitySolutions put forward over ten years ago, are still being called for in new reports. How many reports have to be submitted and how many groups of experts have to gather to discuss obesity and inactivity before recommendations become policy?

“One third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese, and the most deprived children are twice as likely to be obese than the least deprived. This has serious consequences for both their current and future health and wellbeing and we cannot continue to fail these children. There are many causes and no one single or simplistic approach will provide the answer. We therefore urge the Prime Minister to make a positive and lasting difference to children’s health and life chances through bold and wide ranging measures within his childhood obesity strategy.”

Powerful, emotive and encouraging words from Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Select Health Committee which published its report on child obesity on 30th November; read it HERE (1).

On the same day, the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) announced that in coalition with a “ground-breaking group…of organisations from different but related fields, including medical, nursing, charity, and public health” it launched a new Obesity Stakeholder Group and produced a joint position to combat the epidemic of obesity.

As a Lay Adviser, to FSEM with special interest in obesity issues, and as a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador, it is exciting to see this alliance of agencies work together. The joint position contains ten urgent interventions to hopefully influence the Childhood Obesity Strategy – expected to be published this month – and impact positively on our obesogenic environment. Read the position in detail HERE (2).

I say hopefully, because while the structure of the group is groundbreaking, the ideas are not. Obesity is not a new problem and these two reports are not the first attempts to influence UK Government policy on obesity issues.

Almost all of the recommended interventions called for in these reports were also considered to be urgently required twelve years ago, in a House of Commons Health Committee Obesity Report, which you can read HERE (3)

For instance, the first recommended intervention from the Obesity Stakeholder Group demands that:

“The Government should introduce a ban on advertisements before the 9pm watershed for food and drink products that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Alongside this, regulation governing on-demand services and online advertisements should be tightened to align with broadcast regulations,”

Back in 2003, it was already accepted that advertising for less healthy foods was an issue:

“The Hastings Review offered stark evidence of the extent to which advertisers of less healthy foods were saturating broadcasting slots targeting children, who are often watching without any adult present. While we would not want to go so far as to call for an outright ban of all advertising of unhealthy food, given the clear evidence we have uncovered of the cynical exploitation of pester power we would very much welcome it if the industry as a whole acted in advance of any possible statutory control, and voluntarily withdrew such advertising”

The next intervention highlights the need to combat the pricing and promotion strategies of food retailers:

“Retailers should be set targets to improve in-store architecture to reduce the display of unhealthy foods in areas such as checkouts and end of aisle displays and increase price promotions of healthier alternative products.

In 2003, it was again recognised that the pricing and promotion of unhealthy food contributed to our obesity epidemic:

“As part of their healthy pricing strategies, supermarkets must commit themselves to phasing out price promotions that favour unhealthy foods, and also stop all forms of product placement which give undue emphasis to unhealthy foods, in particular the placement of confectionery and snacks at supermarket checkouts.”

The alliance also demands that:

“The Government should develop an independent set of incremental reformulation targets for industry, backed by regulation and which are measured and time bound. These targets should address salt, sugar and saturated fat levels. Compliance with these targets should be monitored and non-compliance should be backed by meaningful sanctions.”

This echoes the message in 2003:

“We recommend that, rather than targeting sugar and fat separately, the Government should focus on reducing the overall energy density of foods, and should work with the Food Standards Agency to develop stringent targets for reformulation of foods to reduce energy density within a short time frame. While we expect that reformulation could be achieved through voluntary arrangements with industry, and while we believe that the introduction of legislation in respect of labelling will encourage industry to make the entire product range healthier, the Government must be prepared, in the last resort, to underpin this with tougher measures in the near future if voluntary measures fail.”

In 2013, we were “appalled to learn of the desperate inadequacy of treatment and support services for obese children.” 

Fast forward to 2015 and we are still concerned about the provision of weight management services:

“The Government should commit to sustained investment to extend and increase the provision and quality of weight management services for families across the UK.”

I could cite more examples of the present repeating the past. And whilst both reports repeat very valid and necessary changes, there are questions about the lack of action at a policy level that should and need to be answered.

Why, twelve years later, are we still having to ask for these same interventions? How can we hope that today’s experts will be able to secure much needed policy changes.

How do we ensure that, this time, these interventions are implemented?

It is evident that we cannot rely solely on voluntary action by food manufacturers and retailers and that statutory regulation is now unfortunately necessary. The Responsibility Deal has had little effect and has confirmed that businesses are responsible only to their share-holders. Only through direct interventions, from Government or consumers, will they alter their practices.

A recent BMJ paper by Professor Theresa M Marteau highlighted the impact of product and portion sizes on consumer spending and consumption. It included the fact that ‘most national and international policies to prevent obesity highlight a need to reduce portion sizes’ (4). From this, and many other medical based papers, it is difficult to foresee a seismic shift in consumer behaviour without the Government initiating action. However, is there a climate for change within this Government and will they listen and act, or will the pressure placed upon them by other influencing groups prevail?

How many reports have to be submitted and how many groups of experts have to gather to discuss obesity and inactivity before their recommendations become policy?

The costs of obesity and inactivity are too high for these recommendations to be ignored again.

The formation of the Obesity Stakeholder Group is a significant step forward in the fight against obesity and it is to be commended for its bold report, but now, more than ever, we need action, not just words.

Join the NOAW JanUary pledge #dosomethinggoodforU and help turn obesity around http://www.jan-u-ary.co.uk/get-involved/make-resolution/

References:

  1. House of Commons Health Committee, Childhood Obesity Brave and Bold Action. First report of session 2015-16.www.parliament.co.uk
  2. Obesity Stakeholder Group: Joint Position on Childhood Obesity published by the Royal College of Physicians London November 2015
  3. House of Commons Health Committee, Obesity, Third Report of Session 2003-04 10 May 2004 parliament.co.uk
  4. Professor Theresa M Marteau (December 2015) Downsizing: policy options to reduce portion sizes to help tackle obesity, BMJ 2015;351:h5863

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Stephen Morrison is Lay Adviser to the FSEM UK and works for the Department for Work and Pensions. He is an everyday Physical Activity Champion for HASSRA Scotland, a Fitness Day UK Ambassador, and Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador. Having turned his life and health around with exercise, Stephen’s agenda is to raise awareness of health inequalities and push for a more holistic approach to inactivity within community wide programmes. Stephen also champions the management of obesity with physical activity, the issues surrounding this in the public domain and a call for “a different approach”. Stephen is also a columnist for Man v Fat and charts his journey as a try athlete at http://howmanymiles.co.uk/

A Global Fail? International Comparisons of Physical Activity of Children and Youth Report Cards

24 Jun, 14 | by BJSM

By Dr. Christine Voss (@DrChristineVoss)

Originally posted on the Active Streets Active People blog: http://asapactive.wordpress.com/

Image

The 2014 Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children recently brought together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to address the growing childhood physical inactivity crisis. There was an impressive agenda of scientific communications, workshops, debates, networking opportunities, and key note addresses. Notably including health knowledge translation phenomenon Doc Mike Evans (Watch his latest viral video: Let’s Make our Day Harder).

The Physical Activity Report Cards

One of the key highlights of the summit was the release of the 10th Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth (1), an important knowledge translation tool to inform policy and practice relating to Canadian children’s low physical activity levels. Alongside overall physical activity, supportive indicators that are scored in the report card include: Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments.

This year for the first time, 14 additional countries, from 5 continents, collaborated to publish their individual, yet similar, physical activity report cards (see Figure 2). Most countries scored relatively poorly for overall physical activity levels; however substantial differences in countries’ individual indicators exist. The international comparison of grades shocked mainstream media and produced headlines such as “Canadian kids near bottom of international physical activity survey” (The Globe and Mail, 20 May 2014; (3)).

Whilst the report fuels further, and necessary, debate over the global physical inactivity crisis, one must still take the findings with a grain of salt. For example, the report compares only 15 countries; 3 out of the 4 participating European countries were from the British Isles. There is disparity between each country’s gathering of information to grade each indicator; this depended on the available type of nationally representative datasets. Full methodologies for each country are available in an open access edition of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (4).

Is it all about active transportation?

The international comparisons of different countries report cards sparked my curiosity for identifying significant patterns. I wondered whether a good grade in any of the supporting/hindering indicators relates to a good grade for overall physical activity. I assessed these relationships and found that only two of the indicators were meaningfully related to overall physical activity: ‘Active Transportation’ and ‘Community and Built Environment’ (Figure 2).

We already know from a wealth of scientific research that children and youth who walk or cycle to school are more physically active (5), so this finding is not all that surprising. We also know that a supportive neighbourhood environment is related to more physical activity in children and youth (6), so it was unexpected to learn that countries with a better community design score also scored lower for overall physical activity. It is of note that it is predominantly high-income countries that scored well on community design, which highlights that maybe we are comparing apples with oranges in the international report card: what matters a lot in some places, matters little – if at all – in other places. Regardless of methodological shortcomings, international comparisons carry great potential for identifying underlying CULTURAL differences that may be culprit or cure for the global physical inactivity pandemic.

Image

Figure 2

All conference abstracts are accessible in an open access edition of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (HERE) (7).

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Want more on this topic? Read BJSM’s recently published (open access) article:  Is the lack of physical activity strategy for children complicit mass child neglect? By Richard Weiler.

References

  1. 2014 Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth: Is Canada in the Running? http://www.activehealthykids.ca/ReportCard/2014ReportCard.aspx
  1. Tremblay et al. Physical Activity of Children: A Global Matrix of Grades Comparing 15 Countries. 2014, J Phys Act Health, 11(Supp 1), S113 – S125; http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2014-0177
  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/physical-activity-levels-of-canadian-kids-lags-behind-global-pack-report-finds/article18754747/
  1. Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children 2014 Special Issue. 2014, J Phys Act Health. 11(Supp 1), S1-S207. http://journals.humankinetics.com/jpah-supplements-special-issues/jpah-volume-11-2014-global-summit-on-the-physical-activity-of-children
  1. Larouche et al. Associations between active school transport and physical activity, body composition, and cardiovascular fitness: a systematic review of 68 studies. 2014, J Phys Act Health. 11(1):206-27. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2011-0345
  1. Ding et al. Neighborhood environment and physical activity among youth a review. 2011. Am J Prev Med. 41(4):442-55. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.06.036
  1. 2014 Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children: Abstracts. 2014, J Phys Act Health, 11(Supp 1), S126 – S198; http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2014-0173

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Dr Christine Voss (@DrChristineVoss) is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research interests centre around the interplay between active travel to school, the built environment, and health in children and youth.

Obesity in the Middle East : A serious public health concern and initiatives to improve diet and physical activity

18 Jun, 14 | by Karim Khan

Sport and Exercise Medicine: The UK trainee perspective (A BJSM blog series)

By Dr Farrah Jawad

Obesity is becoming a major public health issue in the Middle East and in other developing regions. Estimations of overweight or obese individuals include: 42.2% of Kuwaiti adolescent males and 42.4% of Bahraini adolescent females 1. The World Health Organisation indicates that the global burden of non-communicable diseases in developing countries will substantially increase over the next decade2. Physical inactivity is one major factor leading to an increased prevalence of obesity and the health burden it confers in young people3-5. walk

Barriers to maintaining physical health: understanding differences across culture, gender and age

It is necessary to identify and address the barriers to physical activity for people living in the Middle East and other developing regions to reduce the effects of this public health burden. Obesity is taking a particular toll on Arab women, with 45.3% of Qatari and 44% of Saudi Arabian women being obese, nearly double the rate of obese men in those countries6. Over the last three decades there has been a big shift in diet in the Middle East, with Western food, some of which is high in calories, fat and sugar, increasing in popularity, particularly as more women are entering the workforce and fast food is replacing traditional home-cooked food.6 The opportunities to exercise in public are extremely limited for women living in many Middle Eastern countries due to cultural factors such as accepted dress codes and modest conduct. The fuller figure is seen as a desirable trait in women in the Middle East, being considered a thing of beauty and higher social standing.

One study on schoolchildren in Iran explored the barriers to physical activity. Researchers found that studying was prioritized over physical activity. The students described a lack of safe and easy-access places to partake in physical activity and reported a lack of encouragement from their parents to engage in physical activity, with a greater emphasis on studying7. The authors noted an inverse association between children’s activity level and the level of the parents’ education7. There was also inadequate public knowledge of how to integrate physical activity into routine daily life7.

UAE: Lack of visible active living, and health promotion initiatives for change

On a recent trip to Dubai I was struck at how much it had changed since I had last visited in 1994; it has become so much more urbanised, more populated and appears to be thriving in economic terms. I was struck by how few people could be seen walking, cycling or running in public, so different from where I live in London. The summers in the UAE are hot and dry – too hot perhaps to do anything but swim outdoors at that time of year. An ice rink and indoor snow resort have been opened in Dubai and in summer months, indoor leisure centres may be the best way for people to get the exercise they need. Dubai seems very safe, even for the young, and it was a surprise not to see more children playing outdoors. I have been interested at looking into some of the public health measures which have been set up in the Middle East in order to combat the problems of lack of physical activity and obesity in the region. In the UAE, two Imperial College London Diabetes Centres have been set up in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain (since 2006 and 2012 respectively).

Walk for Life: A Diabetes Prevention Initiative

Since 2006, the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi (and later the Al Ain centre), has developed a public health initiative which is intended to reach all levels of UAE society using four “pillars”: Walk for Life, Play for Life, Eat for Life and Cook for Life. The Walk for Life is an annual 5K walkathon for the community, which took place last November and saw 20,000 people participate. The aim is to inspire people to walk, build walking communities and encourage healthy lifestyles. Social media, email marketing, public relations, radio, newspapers and magazines advertised it. Friday sermons across approximately 2000 mosques also mentioned the event8. During the event, 633 people took part in a survey to explore their knowledge about the benefits of exercise and their motivations for taking part in Walk for Life. Of those surveyed, 70% said they were aware that a regular walk helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and 70% declared they were interested in forming their own walking groups, requesting more information8. The Walk for Life is due to take place again this year on 14th November 2014.

Play, Eat, and Cook for Life

Play for Life involves a football tournament organised for corporate employees in Dubai. The campaign also supported the Family Development Foundation’s Women’s Fitness Challenge which was spread over 12 weeks and was aimed at educating women in the emirate’s Mirfa region on how to balance work and exercise with a busy lifestyle. Eat for Life promotes a balanced diet to schoolchildren and Cook for Life aims to inspire families to cook healthy meals at home. Cook for Life’s message is delivered by a television programme watched by millions of viewers.

Steps in the Right Direction

Clearly, in the UAE at least, public health initiatives are underway to tackle the burgeoning problem of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Their focus is on addressing people’s lack of physical activity and poor diet choices. I am not presently aware of any other similar initiatives across the Middle East but I hope that they exist. If they do not, perhaps the good example set by the UAE may inspire other nations in the region to follow suit in order to protect the health and welfare of their people.

**********

Dr Farrah Jawad is an ST3 in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital in London.  She is particularly interested in the public health aspect of Sport and Exercise Medicine and dance-related musculoskeletal injuries.

Dr James Thing co-ordinates “Sport and Exercise Medicine: The UK trainee perspective” monthly blog series.

  1. Ng, SW, Zaghloul S, Ali HI et al. The prevalence and trends of overweight, obesity and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in the Arabian Gulf States. Obes Rev. 2011 Jan; 12 (1): 1-13.
  2. World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2010.
  3.  Dishman RK, Motl RW, Sallis JF, Dunn AL, Birnbaum AS, Welk GJ, et al. Self-management strategies mediate self-efficacy and physical activity. Am J Prev Med. 2005;29(1):10–8.
  4. Makinen TE, Borodulin K, Tammelin TH, Rahko-nen O, Laatikainen T, Prattala R. The effects of adolescence sports and exercise on adulthood leisure-time physical activity in educational groups.Int J BehavNutr Phys Act. 2010;7:27.
  5.  Lee IM, Sesso HD, Paffenbarger RS., Jr Physical activity and coronary heart disease risk in men: does the duration of exercise episodes predict risk? Circulation. 2000;102(9):981–6.
  6. Sarant, L. The hidden obesity toll on women in Arab states. http://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2013.161. Accessed on 24th May 2014.
  7. Kelishadi R, et al. Barriers to Physical Activity in a representative sample of Children and Adolescents in Isfahan, Iran. Int J Prev Med 2010 Spring; 1(2):131-137.
  8. Walk 2013 Overview: Celebrating 70,000,000 steps, a document produced by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, 2014.

Childhood Obesity: The Real Elephant in the Room

6 Jan, 14 | by Karim Khan

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

By Roger Redman

The recent BJSM article  “Is the lack of physical activity strategy for children complicit mass child neglect?”  is well-informed and highlights a major problem, but, like many professional commentaries it seems to be “politically correct” in not mentioning the real Elephant in the Room.

elephant in hallThe fact that one in three older primary school children are overweight is obviously a major concern for the future of those children and for the nation as a whole.

However, time after time when this issue is raised in the public consciousness (as in this case with a mention and discussion on Radio 4) it is always the popular media, the technical journals, qualified professionals or, occasionally a politician, who highlights the problem.

What about the parents? Surely it should be parents raising this issue and, where it is within their power, putting all their efforts into solving the problem, for the sake of their children?

Yes, school playing fields have been sold off  (and how many parents really used their “political clout” to stop the sales?) but there are still ample other ways in which children can get exercise; however this usually involves the expenditure of time, effort and thought by their parents.

Similarly, there is ample information available on healthy eating and, more importantly, the adverse effects of a lifetime of poor diet (we haven’t mentioned Alzheimer’s yet!).

We seem to unquestioningly accept parents saying that “I don’t understand about diet, it’s all too complicated” when these same parents know precisely how to download a new ring tone for their iPhone, how to “Skype” Auntie Flo in Australia,  or the latest winner of  “Strictly…..”.

We are told that parent’s sole concern is the well-being of their children, but we see all around us, walking the streets, the proof that in many cases, this is not so. (Obese girl who weighs 10 stone at age of 5 is taken into care!! – Daily Express, 9/12/13).

Some typical horror stories among my friends, neighbours and relatives include:

  • A professional family where the grandmother and mother are both Type 2 Diabetics and their eldest daughter (who at 5 was a petite little child) is, at eighteen, also an unhealthy, obese Type 2. This family lives in the open countryside and the mother is a Nurse!
  • Another professional family (father a Director, mother a Teacher !) whose intelligent 11 year old daughter seems now only able to communicate via brief monosyllables as she chases demons and dragons around on her iPad Mini, while lounging in a chair, all day long.

A huge number of parents appear uninterested in their children’s current mental or physical well-being, and their future quality of life. The Government, Schools and Councils can only do so much in the face of parents who do not prioritize physical activity and health.

To refer back to the BJSM article title “Is the lack of physical activity strategy for children complicit mass child neglect?”, I have believed for many years that a huge number of parents (not all, by any means) were guilty of child neglect, but society and government seemed to always look the other way.

Until society accepts this reality and also starts publicising and dealing with a base factor in the childhood obesity epidemic, which is parents, our children will continue to suffer in both the short and long term.

To ensure greater and sustainable economic, mental and physical health of nations, every individual has the responsibility to push for a culture change in health and physical activity, not just on a political level, but even more importantly, on a familial level.

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Roger Redman is a retired Aerospace Research Engineering Manager with an interest in the welfare of children for the sake of their, and the UK’s future.

Ideas to add to this conversation?  Thought or opinion about another BJSM article? Email: karim.khan@familymed.ubc.ca

BJSM Cover 2nd Semi-Final…Vote and win!

8 May, 12 | by Karim Khan

VOTE HERE (CLICK) NOW! (until May 15th)

The first semi-final of the cover competition was tight! The winner advanced to the final with a one vote margin!  Still a secret though! Now we have the 2nd semi-final.

Rules refresher!

1. Semi Final 2 goes until midnight Oslo time: May 15th 2012.

2. You can vote in each round [more chances to win the prize!]. Takes you 20 seconds to vote and win!

3. Each Semi Finals include 3 covers each.

4.Next week is the Grand Final / World Cup / Superbowl!…. where readers choose the BJSM cover of the year (2011) from the Semi winners!

4. Voters (from all rounds) will be entered into a draw for PRIZE of $133 gift certificate to amazon.com. We need your email to know if you won – we delete them all after the competition.

VOTE HERE (CLICK) NOW! (until May 15th)

Couple of powerful (short) videos – Are you drinking fat?

8 Nov, 10 | by Karim Khan

New York City Health Department has launched an aggressive video campaign to educate Yorkers that sodas have 16 packs of sugar in a 20 oz drink (about 600 ml, say 1.5 cans). The story is certainly ‘sticky’ – clear, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional.

The background, of course is that obesity is not as big a problem as inactivity/lack of fitness. Imagine if we could get folks to appreciate that lack of fitness is EIGHT times as bad for you as drinking that soda! Now there’s a video for someone to make!

Worst Drinks in The World – Drinks that Kill You with Calories

8 Sep, 10 | by Karim Khan

This smorgasbord of liquid cardiac stress tests  is fascinating because some of them look so benign (see SoBe Tea). And I’ve even handled some of these weapons of self-destruction (the Starbucks logo is so pretty against a coffee background). And feel free to check back to Neil King and John Blundell’s review in the December 2009 BJSM.

2012 update!!! See this 2012 paper tooDoes exercise make you thin?

Click here to view/download the PDF document “20 Worst Drinks in America 2010 (626 KB).

Exercise alone won’t cut it for Canada’s obese

16 Mar, 10 | by Karim Khan

A recent Vancouver Sun article discusses new findings in the role of diet and exercise in obesity. Click here to read the story.

Photo by Tony Alter

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