National change in diet reduces health risk; upper arms training
May 2008
Shape Up America! Newsletter

Honor and empower the women in your life:
Visit the Revolution Health Women's Health Expo

This Mother's Day, and throughout the month of May, Shape Up America! is partnering with Revolution Health to bring attention to women's health issues via the first national online Women's Health Expo. Revolution Health's online Women's Health Expo will feature 11 health issues showcasing tools and resources from select nonprofit organizations that can directly impact women and their families.

Shape Up America! is hosting a "virtual" health booth with tips, tools and valuable information to help women reach a healthy weight. The Shape Up America! "virtual" booth features our Cyberkitchen, Fitness Center and more, so you can make healthy eating and physical activity work for you.

To inspire more women to focus on their own health and to help us increase the visibility of Shape Up America! and its mission, Revolution Health is providing donations of up to $10,000 for visits to each of the nonprofits' health booths. Visit the Shape Up America! booth at the Women's Health Expo often, and encourage the women in your life to visit, too!

England Vows to Halt and Reverse Obesity Epidemic
by Barbara J. Moore, PhD
Like other developed countries, England is in the grip of an obesity epidemic: two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are either overweight or obese, and rates of diabetes and other diseases associated with obesity are skyrocketing. The English health care system, called the National Health Service (NHS), is feeling the burden of excess costs due to diseases associated with rising rates of obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. To address this pressing problem, in January 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a "new ambition" to reverse the epidemic by 2020. This initiative requires a complete revolution on all levels of society, with planning, budgetary allocations and monitoring of progress on an unprecedented scale and scope.

Here, we provide some highlights of the new program, which takes a "life-course" approach aimed at long-term prevention of excess weight1:

Pregnancy Counseling

  • Assess all pregnant women, especially those already overweight or obese, by the 12th week of pregnancy to insure they receive proper support and counseling on optimal diet and lifestyle, healthy weight gain and their baby's growth and development.
Breastfeeding of Infants
  • Promote EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding as the optimal way to feed newborn babies and infants up to 6 months of age.
  • Hospital maternity units to adopt UNICEF's baby-friendly hospital initiative.*
  • Monitor infant growth with the World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts2 for breastfed babies 0 to 2 years old.
  • Institute worksite policies to support breastfeeding mothers by providing an appropriate place for expressing and storing breast milk during the workday.
  • Launch a campaign to delay weaning until 6 months of age through hospitals, worksites and the media to enforce the message that breastfeeding is the optimal mode of infant feeding for healthy growth and development.
  • Establish a National Helpline for breastfeeding mothers for problem-solving and support.
  • Coach health care professionals to champion breastfeeding and support parents who choose to breastfeed their child.
  • Establish a visiting nurse program for the provision of intensive support and problem-solving to breastfeeding mothers.

  • *A maternity facility can be designated "baby-friendly" when it does not accept free or low-cost breastmilk substitutes, and has implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding.

Pre-School Environment

  • Nurseries and day care centers to participate in a compulsory program to insure there are ample opportunities for physical activity and that all meals, snacks and drinks will be healthy, balanced and nutritious.
  • Evaluate programs by collecting data on heights, weights and body mass index (BMI) of school children, starting with kindergarten, through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).
  • Report each child's weight status to parents.


  • Establish healthy lunch box policies and nutrition standards for school lunches.
  • Make cooking a compulsory part of the curriculum by 2011 for all 11 to 14-year-olds.
  • Develop tailored programs to increase participation of obese and overweight pupils in physical education and sports.


  • Invest 140 million (roughly $280 million) to improve the cycling infrastructure and build cycling skills, especially in areas with high prevalence of child overweight.
  • Empower local authorities to manage the proliferation of fast food outlets especially near parks and schools.
  • Invest 30 million (roughly $60 million) in a Healthy Towns initiative to promote physical activity.

Advertising, Media and Entertainment Industries

  • Review advertising of unhealthy foods to children by July 2008 and report findings as soon as possible.
  • In partnership with the food and beverage industry and other stakeholders, adopt a Health Food Code of Good Practice to reduce consumption of saturated fat, sugar and salt.
  • Invest 75 million (roughly $150 million) in a marketing program to inform, support and empower parents to make changes in their children's diet and levels of physical activity.
  • Invest in a Walking into Health campaign to get one-third of England walking at least 1000 more steps per day by 2012.
  • Work with the entertainment technology industry to develop tools for parents to monitor and manage the time children spend playing sedentary games online.


  • Work with employers to develop and test wellness programs and incorporate healthy workplaces as part of the core business model.
  • Test the use of financial incentives to encourage healthy living and weight management.

National Health Service (NHS)

  • Develop well-being assessments through the NHS to provide personal health advice and lifestyle management that is tailored to the individual.
  • Develop the NHS Choices website to offer clear and consistent information on how to maintain a healthy weight and personalized advice on diet and activity.
  • Commission and fund more weight management services over the next 3 years.

Invest in Research

  • Within the family of public health institutions, establish the Obesity Observatory to improve our understanding of the causes and consequences of overweight and to build the evidence for what works in tackling excess weight.
  • Allocate an additional 372 million (roughly $740 million) covering 2008 to 2011 for promotion of the achievement and maintenance of healthy weight, in addition to the specific allocations mentioned above.

The evidence suggests that this type of far-sighted comprehensive program that addresses the problem of obesity on all levels of society and in all places where people live and work and go to school is what is needed here in the U.S. When the Institute of Medicine published its landmark report on the prevention of childhood obesity,3 it called for precisely this type of approach and monetary investment on the part of the U.S. federal, state and local governments. National leadership on this pressing issue has yet to emerge in the U.S. as it has in England.

Barbara J. Moore, PhD, is President and CEO of Shape Up America!

Triceps - Part II (Chair Exercises)
by Michael Roussell
This is Part II in a series devoted to strengthening and toning the triceps muscle in the upper arm. (Part I was introduced last month.) Here, we've selected an exercise that can be done while sitting in a chair or wheelchair.

This exercise puts two seated movements together in what is known as a "superset" to work both the triceps (the back of your arms) and the shoulders. To complete this exercise, all you need is a chair and one soup can (or a tightly sealed filled water bottle) that you can grip firmly in your hand. To start with, select a weight that allows you to complete the superset at least once. As you grow stronger, you can increase the weight. If you have a dumbbell, you can use it in place of the soup can or water bottle.

The first movement in the sequence is an overhead triceps extension. Place the weight in your left hand and, without moving your shoulders, extend your arm straight above your head. This is the starting position. Keep the part of your arm from the elbow to the shoulder still and bend your arm at the elbow and lower the weight behind your head. This is the midpoint of the movement. Pause for 1 second and reverse the movement, straightening out your arm again. Repeat this movement 7 more times for a total of 8 reps.

The second movement is a shoulder press. You will start the movement with the weight in your left hand, with your arm folded next to your body so that the hand with the weight in it is resting on your left shoulder. Now press your arm straight up above your head, pausing at the top for 1 second. Lower the weight back down to your shoulder. That is 1 rep. Repeat this movement 7 more times.

Now start over with the weight in your right hand. Complete the superset of 8 reps of each movement with your right arm.

What makes this a "superset"? A superset is two movements done back to back with little to no rest in between. The chart below outlines how the workout should progress.

Left Arm
Overhead Triceps Extension x 8 reps
Little to No Rest
Shoulder Press x 8 reps
Little to No Rest
Switch Arms
Right Arm
Overhead Triceps Extension x 8 reps
Little to No Rest
Shoulder Press x 8 reps
Little to No Rest
Rest 90-120 seconds and repeat entire superset 2 more times

You will notice that I specify "Little to No Rest" between movements. You should tailor your rest periods to your own personal fitness level. Starting out, you may need to take longer rest periods but as you develop a higher level of fitness, you can shorten the rest time. The key with exercise is to push yourself to work hard enough to increase your heart rate but, at the same time, to listen to your body so that you don't over do it. Like other resistance exercises, these exercises should be done no more than two or three times per week.

Walk from Obesity
On June 17, 2008, the Obesity Action Coalition and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) will be co-hosting Walk from Obesity — Walk on the Capitol on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The purpose of the Walk is to raise public and government awareness of the obesity epidemic and to call for expanded government efforts to address obesity, its consequences and treatments.

This free event begins at 6.30 P.M. and is open to the public. Several thousand participants are expected to attend. For more details on the Walk or how you can show your support, visit Walk on the Capitol, call 800-717-3117 or e-mail

Menus for Weight Loss and Healthy Eating
Shape Up America! offers these simple, convenient 1500 calorie and 2000 calorie menus to help you eat healthfully while controlling your calories. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to e-mail us at

My Story
Darla saw pain-free results when she changed her eating habits and walked her way to much-improved health.

I am a 49-year-old female who decided I better educate myself on heart and breast health to save my life. I started eating whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and natural foods. I never go hungry. I have been walking an hour a day for 6 months. As a result I lost 15 pounds and my cholesterol went down 46 points. I walked through back, hip, knee and feet pain. Now I am strong and seldom have pain. I would say every step and food choice was worth it. Wouldn't you?

P.S. Spend a couple of dollars on your shoes for padded sole inserts and keep walking!

If you would like to share your personal success story and be an inspiration to others who desire to lose weight, simply use our story submission system on the SUA Web site.

Recipe of the Month
Salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats. This tasty dish is an ideal choice for a nutritious, quick-fix meal.
Lemon Dijon Salmon
Makes 4 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 (4 oz.) salmon fillets
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • Lemon slices as garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place salmon fillets on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, brushed lightly with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread mustard mixture evenly over topside of each salmon fillet.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Sprinkle evenly with dill and garnish with lemon slices.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 260 calories, 17 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 23 grams protein, 0 grams dietary fiber, 390 milligrams sodium

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research

phone: 406-686-4844

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Editor: Adrienne Forman, MS, RD

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