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.
History of the Challenge
The 2012 Challenge was the No Soda Pop in November campaign. For the 30 days in November, participants were asked to not drink soda pop. The 2012 Say No to Soda Pop campaign received national attention as hundreds of local Detroiters took the pledge and gave up the high sugary drink for the month of November.
During this planning period, we decided that in 2013, and each subsequent year, we would "add" to the complexity of the challenge. With that, the 2013 campaign was extended to include the month of December and the challenge was expanded to include No Fried Foods. The name was then changed to the 61 Day Challenge.
Adding December was ideal because most Americans increase their caloric intake during this time of year (Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations).
To maintain alignment with the previous years, our 2014 61 Day Challenge is:
- No Soda Pop
- No Fried Foods
- No Sweets (i.e., junk foods). This brings in the "less sugar
- Increased physical activity (i.e., exercise). This brings in the "more steps"
Less Sugar. More Steps
- The average American consumes over 22 teaspoons (352 calories) of added sugar every day
- The average American consumes
- The average American should be consuming less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day
- Sugar can damage your heart
- Sugar is linked to cancer
- Sugar can negatively impact how children learn
- Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay
- Foods with add sugars are often high in calories and low in nutrition
- Sugar is linked to depression
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is an added sugar found in many bad foods and should be avoided
- Sugar is linked to high blood pressure
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is linked to Type II Diabetes and Obesity
- The most sources of added sugar are soda, energy drinks, sweetened fruit juices, candy, pastries and baked goods
- Sugar is linked to ADD/ADHD
- Of the many food additives, salt is number 1 and sugar is number 2
- Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juices- even 100% fruit juice is high in natural sugar
- We should eat more complex sugars and less simple sugars
- Consider sweetened drinks (eg lemonade, fruit punch) as liquid candy
- Don't skip meals- this may cause a sugar craving
- Don't add sugar to foods
- Learn how to read a Nutrition Facts Label
- 1 teaspoon of table sugar = 4 grams of sugar = 16 calories
2014 61 Day Challenge Community Partners
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated • Alpha Rho Omega Chapter • The American Heart Association • Ben Carson High School of Science and Medicine • The Children's Center • Compuware Corporation • Cornerstone Health High School • Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated • Detroit Alumnae Chapter • Detroit Health and Wellness Promotion • Detroit Public Schools • Detroit Public Schools-Office School and Nutrition • DMC Employee Engagement Committee • Exceptional Lifestyle Forum • Fresh Corner Cafe • Ilitch Holdings • The Links Incorporated, Great Lakes Chapter • Medical Weight Loss Clinic • Michigan State University Extension • Black Child Development Institute • The Water Station • Wayne County Health & Human Services • Wayne State University Food is Medicine Program