Module to Reverse Childhood Obesity and Build Self Esteem

This module is a culmination of our hard work and dedication to improve follow up rates and treatment success for childhood obesity. We have paid special attention to designing a program that lowers BMI (Body Mass Index), decreases diabetes risk, and improves blood pressure while avoiding awkward discussions about body size.

By demonizing SODA corporations, we create a villain for the youth to rebel against. This strategy immediately shifts attention away from body image and away from self esteem crushing labels like “obesity” … AND instead fosters the feeling of a unified boycott against greedy corporations who exploit our communities and target us with their unhealthy products.

SODATRON is the robotic tentacled BIGSODA villain who is aggressively selling us a drink known to increase rates of diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity. As an act of defiance against these corporations, our pediatric patients refuse to drink soda and sugary drinks AND instead choose water.

 DEFEAT SODATRON poster

DEFEAT SODATRON poster



How it works:

1) The patient sees the DEFEAT SODATRON poster hanging on the wall of the exam room. We ask if they would like to take the DEFEAT SODATRON challenge to win a poster by giving up soda and sugary drinks for one month. To claim their poster reward and have a chance to go on our DEFEAT SODATRON Youtube channel, the patient follows up at one month. If they agree to the challenge, we give them a DEFEAT SODATRON coloring page as a thank you for agreeing to take the challenge.

 DEFEAT SODATRON coloring page

DEFEAT SODATRON coloring page



2) At the one month follow up we record a new BMI and recheck their blood pressure. If they have succeeded in the challenge they are awarded the poster and offered a chance to record a video to be uploaded on our DEFEAT SODATRON Youtube channel. If the parent and patient agree to the Youtube channel, the parent signs a media consent and we shoot a short video of the proud child. We immediately upload the video to Youtube so the patient can see themselves on the channel when they return home. Prior to leaving the appointment, we offer to continue the challenge for another 2 months and add a new challenge to eliminate sugary snacks. The patient is incentivized to return in 2 months to claim the next prize, the DEFEAT SODATRON triple pack of stickers.

 Dr. Kevin Strong celebrates with a proud, soda free patient.

Dr. Kevin Strong celebrates with a proud, soda free patient.

Video of Dr. Kevin Strong and a proud, soda free patient from the DEFEAT SODATRON Youtube channel.



3) At the 3 month followup, we again chart BMI and blood pressure. The child is rewarded with the sticker pack and challenged to return again in 3 months for a 6 month followup at which time they will win the DEFEAT SODATRON comic. We add to the challenge, adjusting their breakfast to focus on healthy proteins and fats instead of a breakfast loaded with sugar like muffins, pancakes, sugary cereal, juice, and chocolate milk.

 DEFEAT SODATRON stickers

DEFEAT SODATRON stickers



4) At the 6 month visit, the BMI and blood pressure are again recorded and the patient is rewarded with the DEFEAT SODATRON comic. Next, they are invited to complete the one year nutrition intervention with a follow up in 6 months. The award at the one year visit is the coveted DEFEAT SODATRON T-shirt. At this visit we offer advise on shifting the overall diet away from carbohydrates and towards the consumption of healthy proteins and fats. For some of our motivated patients and families we have a discussion about a trial of the ketogenic diet, particularly if they have acanthosis nigricans, pre diabetes, type 2 diabetes, persistent elevated blood pressure, or if they are interested in more sustained and dramatic weight loss.

 Draft version of the DEFEAT SODATRON comic cover.

Draft version of the DEFEAT SODATRON comic cover.

 Dr. Kevin Strong celebrates with a proud patient who has one year soda free.

Dr. Kevin Strong celebrates with a proud patient who has one year soda free.


In our pediatric clinics the DEFEAT SODATRON module has successfully reversed uptrending BMI’s on hundreds of pediatric patients. The module has also had a dramatic effect on blood pressure as many of our hypertensive youth have seen a normalization of their blood pressure. Thirdly, we have staved off the insidious march towards type 2 diabetes for many of our patients. Perhaps most importantly, we have avoided the emotional scars that can arise from weight or body image stigmatization, AND instead have empowered youth to battle back against corporations who aggressively target them with their harmful products.

EMPOWER YOUTH WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT SODA AND SUGARY DRINKS and they will choose health, water, life over a path to sugar fueled chronic disease.

DEFEAT SODATRON

IMG_1340.JPG


Interested in bringing Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON to your community …

contact Dr. Kevin Strong at kstrong@dunkthejunk.org


International Quit Soda Day ... October 20th

Welcome to the 2nd Annual International Quit Soda Day,  10/20/2018.

 Inaugural International Quit Soda Day mural by Mike Rich of Portland, Maine, 2017

Inaugural International Quit Soda Day mural by Mike Rich of Portland, Maine, 2017

International Quit Soda Day, IQSD, is a day to focus our collective energy on decreasing worldwide consumption of soda and sugary drinks.  If we reduce consumption of sugary drinks, we will reverse the escalating rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay that afflict our communities.  

We can harness our collective energy to:

1) Challenge friends, family, and neighbors to give up soda and sugary drinks on this global quit date.

2) Challenge hospital administrators, school officials, and community leaders to phase out sugary drinks at their respective institutions.  You can find a downloadable sample letter reaching out to administrators in our digital toolkit.  

3) Challenge local, state, federal, and global health policy leaders to make clear and strong public announcements about the connection between sugary drinks and increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.   Click HERE to view/share a sample letter to the newly appointed Director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield. 

4) Build relationships with public health advocates across local, regional, national, and global platforms.

 Dr. Kevin Strong at the  NCDFREE  bootcamp at Harvard Medical School with Anne Kiser, Founding member of  Global Health Disrupted , who we have partnered with to bring the DEFEAT SODATRON message to youth in Africa.  Click  HERE  to read more about our work in Africa.  

Dr. Kevin Strong at the NCDFREE bootcamp at Harvard Medical School with Anne Kiser, Founding member of Global Health Disrupted, who we have partnered with to bring the DEFEAT SODATRON message to youth in Africa.  Click HERE to read more about our work in Africa.  

 

5) Protect youth by educating them on the truth about soda and sugary drinks so they can make an informed decision to choose health over a path to chronic disease. 

 Dr. Kevin Strong with Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON in collaboration with NYC Health Department.  Pictured here with Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene and Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity with students at PS 13 and Dunk the Junk rappers, Jay Caron and Mike Be.    

Dr. Kevin Strong with Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON in collaboration with NYC Health Department.  Pictured here with Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene and Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity with students at PS 13 and Dunk the Junk rappers, Jay Caron and Mike Be.    

 

6) Think SODA TAX.  It is working in Mexico.  Click HERE to read on the Mexico soda tax.

7) Celebrate health as an unalienable human rite.  Commit to increasing our efforts to protect low income communities and developing nations from preventable chronic diseases.  

 Global Health Disrupted, in collaboration with Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON,  asks Kenyan school children... "Who is ready to QUIT SODA?"  

Global Health Disrupted, in collaboration with Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON,  asks Kenyan school children... "Who is ready to QUIT SODA?"  

 

In the spirit of this celebration, we invite you to download, share, and reproduce our posters, coloring pages, and music to promote health in your community.  Click HERE to explore the Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON digital toolkit.

 

Join us on Instagram @dunkthejunk , on twitter @dunkthejunkfood , and on hashtags #InternationalQuitSodaDay  #IQSD  #DEFEATSODATRON  to connect and AMPLIFY.

 

 Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON in Miami at Solbox Fitness with street art mural by @MikeRichDesign @vyalone @Keo_xmen 

Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON in Miami at Solbox Fitness with street art mural by @MikeRichDesign @vyalone @Keo_xmen 

In our journey towards health equity, social justice, and universal health; we wish you peace, love, and strength.

 

IMG_9993.jpg
 Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON working with children in the after school program, ASES, in Cathedral City, California.  

Operation: #DEFEATSODATRON working with children in the after school program, ASES, in Cathedral City, California.  

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Kevin Strong and the Dunk the Junk crew

 

OPEN LETTER to the newly appointed CDC Director

Dear Dr. Robert Redfield,

Congratulations on your appointment this year to be Director of the Center for Disease Control.  All Americans trust in, and benefit from, public servants who are dedicated to building systems and practices that keep us all healthy and safe.  

In that spirit we are writing to invite you to join us in celebrating the Second Annual International Quit Soda Day on October 20, 2018.

As you know, and as the CDC website notes, "frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout."  As you are also aware, Georgia has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the United States.  Since Atlanta is home to both the CDC, which is charged with protecting us from these diseases, and Coca-Cola, which is the largest manufacturer of one of the leading contributors to these diseases, you can understand why we feel your vocal support for this event is crucial.

We see this issue as not only one of health, but also one of justice and equality.  Tobacco companies have a shameful history of targeting minority communities in our country and funding lung cancer "research" favorable to their poisonous product.  We have been alarmed and saddened to see Coca-Cola undertake similar strategies, such as Coke's internally circulated "Vision 2020" plan, which laid out quite blatantly the company's plan to target minority communities.  We hope you will join us in the fight to make sure soda companies are not allowed to actively poison our African American and Hispanic youth.  

[[For reference, "Vision 2020 is Coke's plan to double its business by 2020... This aggressive plan is focused on dramatically increasing consumption of sugary beverages by young people using precision marketing that targets young people, mostly in Latino and African-American communities in the United States, and in developing countries abroad..."  -Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing Officer for the Coca-Cola Company in 2014.]]

Please let us know if you can join us in support of the Second Annual International Quit Soda Day on October 20, 2018.  You might participate via live video feed or by submitting a pre-recorded message in support of this important public health event.

Our nonprofit will be celebrating this event at public schools, hospitals, and community centers throughout the United States.  We are eager to include your message in our efforts to empower youth with the truth about soda and sugary drinks so they can choose health over a path to chronic disease.  

Sincerely,

Kevin Strong, MD

Pediatrician

Advocate for Health Equity and Social Justice

Founder of the nonprofit, Dunk the Junk 

 

Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON - KENYA

Please join us in supporting Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON Kenya mission, a youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to sell our communities a drink known to cause disease.

Donate

As Operation DEFEAT SODATRON has spread the truth about soda in the United States there has been a dramatic drop in U.S. soda sales.  Youth are rebelling against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to target their communities with a drink known to increase obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, and heart disease.  Coke and Pepsi have responded to this drop in domestic sales by spending billions of dollars to market and disseminate soda in South America, India, China, Indonesia, Africa, and beyond.  

Here is a quote from Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing Officer at Coca Cola, March 2014...

"Vision 2020 is Coke's plan to double its business by 2020...  This aggressive plan is focused on dramatically increasing consumption of sugary beverages by young people, mostly Latino and African-American communities in the United States and developing nations abroad... "

A prime example of this effort to increase global sales  was on display during the World Cup soccer tournament.  Every World Cup highlight video that we watched started with a Share A Coke advertisement.  Pop star Jason Derulo's Coca Cola Anthem for the World Cup had over 41 million views as of July 10th.  Our network of community health volunteers in Kenya tell us that Coca Cola soccer balls are being handed out in villages. 

 Coca Cola World Cup Advertisement, 2018.

Coca Cola World Cup Advertisement, 2018.

 

The Coca Cola Corporation, otherwise known as SODATRON, is actively invading nations with its robotic tentacles of greed, pumping children full of addictive sugary poison, spraying billboards that sell soda as happiness, yanking kids off water fountains, and paying off government officials to play along. 

IMG_3294.JPG

 

We have seen this playbook before with the tobacco industry.  As Americans learned the hidden truth about the devastating effects of cigarettes, BIG TOBACCO aggressively targeted developing nations with their highly toxic and addictive products.  The global health fallout from this relentless dissemination rumbles on to this day.

 British American Tobacco advertisement in Kenya

British American Tobacco advertisement in Kenya

 

SODATRON, like BIG TOBACCO, is working overtime to use its money and power to derail regional and global efforts to educate children on the truth about its products.  This strategy has been effectively employed in the United States with Coke money flowing to organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institute of Health (NIH).  This high level health policy corruption helps explain our inept response to the catastrophic rise in national obesity and diabetes rates.  With over 2 billion people worldwide either overweight or obese, this national problem has become a global health crisis of unseen proportions.  

We feel the best way to DEFEAT SODATRON is to rally the people.  Our youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA empowers youth with the truth about soda so they can choose health over a path to chronic disease and premature death.  In 2017, we piloted a DEFEAT SODATRON campaign in Kenya to coincide with International Quit Soda Day.  Our friends at Global Health Disrupted utilized our DEFEAT SODATRON counterbranding materials to engage youth in an art infused rebellion against soda.  Kenyan youth embraced the campaign.  Empowered with new knowledge, they began creating rebel art of their own. 

 Empowered by knowledge, these Kenyan youth create art to express their dissent.

Empowered by knowledge, these Kenyan youth create art to express their dissent.

 A parade of colorful DEFEAT SODATRON artwork from school children in Kenya. Youth art becomes a nidus for rebellion against BIG SODA greed and propaganda.

A parade of colorful DEFEAT SODATRON artwork from school children in Kenya. Youth art becomes a nidus for rebellion against BIG SODA greed and propaganda.

 An impressive SODATRON created by Alex, a grade 3 student in Nairobi... he has been reflecting on the health dangers of sugary drinks and wants to avoid diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, and obesity.

An impressive SODATRON created by Alex, a grade 3 student in Nairobi... he has been reflecting on the health dangers of sugary drinks and wants to avoid diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, and obesity.

 Who wants to quit soda for good? An auditorium full of Nairobian and International students make the pledge to DEFEAT SODATRON.

Who wants to quit soda for good? An auditorium full of Nairobian and International students make the pledge to DEFEAT SODATRON.

In 2018, with the help of our partners at Global Health Disrupted (GHD), we are expanding our efforts in Kenya.  GHD has been training Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in Kenya to deliver the truth about soda and sugary drinks to the surrounding communities. Our Design Director, Mike Rich, is creating a comic to inspire a youth rebellion against SODATRON's invasion of Africa.

 SODATRON sets his sights on Africa with his robotic tentacles of greed ready to pump kids full of sugary poison. Draft comic cover by Mike Rich Design.

SODATRON sets his sights on Africa with his robotic tentacles of greed ready to pump kids full of sugary poison. Draft comic cover by Mike Rich Design.



We will invite Kenyan youth to submit their own comics that tell the story of a youth led rebellion to defeat SODATRON.   Our Hip Hop Director, Mike Be, has produced a new music track, titled POISON, protesting SODATRON's invasion of Africa and India with contributions from legendary hip hop artist General Steele of Smif-N-Wessun and Los Angeles based hip hop artist SETI X, aka Mandeep Sethi, with roots in India and hailed by GQ Magazine as “India’s booming hip hop scene’s new voice.”  The chorus of this track is designed for Kenyan youth to learn, perform, and share through their digital media networks.

Please join us in supporting Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON Kenya mission, a youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to sell our communities a drink known to cause disease.  We empower youth with the truth about SODA so they have the knowledge to choose health over a path to chronic disease and premature death.  Empowered by knowledge,  with art as their weapon ...  YOUTH will DEFEAT SODATRON !      

IMG_4402.JPG

Cancer and School Lunch

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.55.52 AM.png

We know that the high sugar content of school food contributes to the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics.  But could it also be increasing a child's cancer risk?  Scientific leaders in cancer research make a strong case for YES.  

The connection looks like this….

Excessive sugar consumption = Increasing obesity rates

 Increasing obesity rates = Increasing cancer rates

so by the transitive property excessive sugar consumption = increasing cancer rates.

 There is strong new evidence linking obesity to an increased risk of 13 different cancers.              ( http://nyti.ms/2bGbAwZ )  There is also no debate on the leading cause of obesity, excessive sugar consumption.  

The next logical question is how much sugar do our kids consume through the school lunch and breakfast program?  Here are some numbers from a public elementary school near me….

FIGURE 1

Figure 2

        

 

 

 

The answer as demonstrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2 is a child in elementary school can consume about 30 teaspoons of sugar if they eat breakfast and lunch at school.  Figure 3 shows the recent American Heart Association recommendation that children consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  Therefore, by eating breakfast and lunch at school, a child can consume 5 times the recommended amount of sugar each day.

Figure 3

To magnify the enormity of the sugar exposure at school I have included an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrates the effect of JUST 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day on a child.   These effects were measured in a double blinded, randomized placebo controlled study that demonstrated statistically significant effects on weight gain, skinfold-thickness measurements, waist-to-height ratio, and fat mass.  Here is the link to this invaluable study… 

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1203034

Remember that the effects seen in this study were from 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, while kids consume about 30 teaspoons of sugar per day by eating breakfast and lunch at our public schools (5 times the amount in this study).  

The logic connecting school lunch to cancer risk follows quite nicely from the above elucidation.  By eating breakfast and lunch at school your child can consume 30 teaspoons of added sugar, 5 times the recommended amount of sugar by the American Heart Association and 5 times the amount of sugar that showed statistically significant effect on weight gain, skin fold-thickness measurements, waist-to-height ratio, and fat mass in the NEJM study on children. 

If you still think connecting the high sugar content of our school food to cancer seems far-fetched then perhaps these cancer experts can sway you...

Lewis Cantley, Director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, put it this way:  "Sugar scares me."

Craig Thompson, the President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York says,  "I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can, because I believe ultimately it's something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer."

 

The above quotes are borrowed from the NY Times Magazine Article from 4/13/2011, Is Sugar Toxic, written by Gary Taubes (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all ).