April 18, 2014

Medina
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Expert says when it comes to health we all get 2nd chance

MEDINA — “Every one of us gets a do-over,” Dr. Michael Roizen told the packed house at the Medina Perform­ing Arts Center on Tuesday night.

From smoking to having a poor diet, the Cleveland Clinic’s chief well­ness officer explained the hazards of unhealthy living and also illustrated corrective measures for bad choices.

“The vast majority of people with Type II diabetes, it’s their fault,” Roizen said, adding that people have rid themselves of the disease just by changing their diet, exercising and reduc­ing stress.

“Stress is the greatest ager of all,” he said. A man who has been known to grab doughnuts out of strangers’ hands, Roizen is the author of the New York Times best-selling book “Real Age: Are You As Young As You Can Be?” His lat­est book, which he co-wrote with Dr. Mehmet Oz, is called “YOU: Staying Young,” and will be published this month.

Roizen still practices internal medi­cine in between touring the country giving speeches and making appear­ances on shows such as “Dr. Oz,” “Oprah,” “Today” and CNN.

On Tuesday, Roizen talked about practicing what he preaches. Throughout his speech, he paced the stage, showing off his pedometer and working toward his goal of walking 10,000 steps every day.

For the ultimate step in setting a good example, the Cleveland Clinic no longer tolerates its employees smoking on the main campus and has fired two physicians for doing so, Roizen said.

He gave examples of people who were in their 40s but had the heart of someone decades older until they made a commitment to change and were able to reverse the damage. “You can even reverse smoking,” Roizen said.

People who eat an unhealthy breakfast for most of their lives can entirely reverse the effects of, say, biscuits and gravy every day, after three years, he said.

He recommended walking at least 30 minutes a day and med­itating for an additional 10, as well avoiding sugar, added sugar, trans fats, corn syrup and simple carbohydrates such as enriched flour.

Roizen cautioned the audi­ence from thinking of their diet as a matter of moderation or trade-offs. “Food is not ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ ” Roizen said.“You can’t have an ice cream cone today and say you’ll exercise it off tomorrow.”

When asked about initiatives in schools to measure and track the body mass index of stu­dents, Roizen said he would support such an initiative because a high BMI is a good indicator of obesity, and parents should be aware of it.

Medina County schools are looking to opt out of a state­-mandated BMI program for this year, although other healthy lifestyle programs exist.

Roizen said with increased wellness comes lower health costs and eventually job growth in a region that takes better care of itself. “We will lose our quality of life if we don’t do something,” he said.

Medina Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic hospital, hosted the event.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.