ACSH: Why We Ran

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ACSH's four-strong contingent in yesterday's JPMorgan Corporate Challenge overcame an early setback when two members of the team hurt themselves stretching during the warm-up phase, expressed bafflement over the guy who ran carrying what appeared to be a bag with a bowling ball in it, and watched in awe as the oldest member of the ACSH team, Medical and Executive Director Dr. Gilbert Ross, his vigor undimmed by advancing years, finished ahead of ostensibly youthful and healthy co-workers.

And in a sense, it was all a statement about fat. Not only is the nation s waistline expanding, so too is the debate taking place over obesity in articles, summits, global strategies, even movies. ACSH has been very vocal in this debate, stressing the root cause of weight gain higher calorie input than output and the health benefits of regular physical activity. While ACSH maintains that the key to reversing this epidemic is best sought in science, turning the tide on obesity entails not only talking of scientific principles but acting on them.

Left to right: Aubrey Stimola, Gilbert Ross, Tiffany Dovey, and Jeff Stier

Yesterday ACSH took that message to the streets, joining over 17,000 others in the 28th annual running of the JPMorgan race, which helps raise money for the Central Park Conservancy, the private organization that maintains Central Park. Yesterday s record turnout despite record-breaking heat made quite a statement. Runners were cheered on by retired New York Ranger Mike Richter, now on the sidelines cheering for New Yorkers who had cheered him for his Stanley Cup victory ten years ago. ACSH president Elizabeth Whelan noted that "ACSH team members Gil Ross, Jeff Stier, Tiffany Dovey, and Aubrey Stimola all finished strong, improving on last year's respectable time, despite today's 89 degree temperature."

While ACSH team captain and medical director Dr. Gilbert Ross wouldn't prescribe running 3.5 miles in the heat for those not well trained, he would recommend walking for 20-30 minutes several times per week, which has been shown to be a remarkable health benefit. Dr. Ross advises, "We need more exercise activity in America to help fight the rise in obesity which has been omnipresent in our national media the last few months. Fad diets and demonizing specific foods are simple, but wrong, answers. Increasing exercise while lowering calorie intake is the real, but difficult, solution."