Staying on Program: Top News and More

I know I missed a week of blogging. Over the holiday was a time I chose to answer more questions and do planning for Cleveland Clinic’s corporate customers. Yes, we do wellness programs for corporations, case in point: Lafarge. Now Lafarge is a big cement and aggregate provider, but as its tasks have become less manual and more automated, its employees have gained weight, started to smoke more, and developed the metabolic syndrome (same as all corporations in America—it makes us less competitive for jobs).

Posted on | Mike Roizen, MD | Comments ()

I know I missed a week of blogging. Over the holiday was a time I chose to answer more questions and do planning for Cleveland Clinic’s corporate customers. Yes, we do wellness programs for corporations, case in point: Lafarge. Now Lafarge is a big cement and aggregate provider, but as its tasks have become less manual and more automated, its employees have gained weight, started to smoke more, and developed the metabolic syndrome (same as all corporations in America—it makes us less competitive for jobs). 

The metabolic syndrome is defined as 3 or more of these symptoms; type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (.130/90, ideal is 115/75), high lousy cholesterol (>100) or low healthy cholesterol (<50), high triglycerides (>100), or abdominal obesity. Metabolic syndrome can cause premature disabilities and death and it increases medical costs to make the company have a harder time to stay competitive. Many companies are answering by increasing costs for medical insurance to their employees or dropping coverage. But Lafarge is trying to do something to help their employees get healthier. So just like I coach on the The Dr. Oz Show, I am acting as “the Enforcer” to 3 Lafarge employees. We do daily emailing together, which I call “Enforcer e-coaching.”

I did a surprise visit with Randy V. this week. He lives about 3.5 hours from Cleveland, and yes, it was snowing. But I wanted to see how his fridge looked and if he had really gotten rid of all smoking stuff. It looked great, and he has. In 35 days he has quit his pack-a-day smoking habit (no, he is not giving the 6+ dollars a day he saves back to LaFarge, he has to visit the cash machine only 1/3 as many times a week as he had to), and he has lost 6 inches from his waist and more than 25 pounds. He says that it has been easier than he expected to do both. In fact he says he feels much more energetic and better than in many, many years. This is quite a feat for Randy – to quit a pack a day habit and lose weight. We’ll post his video here in June when he and the others of the Lafarge 3 finish their 3 month challenge. (I can pass on your good wishes to him if you email me at youdocs@gmail.com).

As to the medical stories of the week, I tweeted (@youngdrmike) these as the most important, and we discussed them on the “YOU: The Owner’s Radio Show.” Which you can listen to on healthradio.net on Saturdays at 5-7 pm EST.)


The most important top medical article of week: Consuming 25 gm of whole grain fiber (oats, wheat, barley, psyllium husks, chia, etc) a day reduces mortality rate 61%. The summary speaks for itself. Get your fiber like Mehmet: put a teaspoon of psyllium husks in every 8 ounces of your green drink or in your berry blaster (like I do).   


The next key article of the week: Low carb, highly processed red meat increases type 2 diabetes risk big time. That’s right, the study showed that having processed meat even twice a week substantially raises your risk of type 2 diabetes.


The third most important medical story of week is a tie: If you’re over 50, a new study recommends that you should get the shingles vaccine even if already had shingles; and the FDA says to read labels of relaxation drinks. They many contain some ingredients that mix very poorly with other meds, supplements, or alcohol.  


My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is partially intact. Eating smaller portions fell to the wayside 2 days this week, and but an extra 11 minutes of cardio every day stayed intact, and it is already February 26th. I’ve tracked my progress on Sharecare.com. And when you have wonderful choices, chose the one best for your health. Do like Dr Oz did and chose to “move it”, and get 25 to 35 gram of fiber a day, every day. By moving and grabbing fiber, you’ll live like Randy, with the energy as if you are much younger.

Blog written by Mike Roizen, MD
Dr. Roizen is a past chair of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee and a former editor for 6 medical journals with...