The 61 Day Challenge is a health education campaign focusing on fitness, nutrition, health education and commitment to living a healthier life. It is an annual community program with a 61 day focus on healthy lifestyle management. Individuals and groups of all ages and backgrounds participating in the challenge are encouraged to Take the Pledge, promising to make healthy changes in their life. This year's specific health challenge is More Steps, More Fruit, challenging participants to increase their physical activity and add more fruits to their diet.
Take the pledge now or read below to learn about the history of the 61 Day Challenge, fun facts about sugar and your body, or to find some helpful tips to keep your pledge.
History of the Challenge
Starting in 2012, the first challenge was a No Soda Pop in November campaign. For the 30 days in November, participants were asked to not drink soda pop. The 2012 Say No to Soda Pop campaign received national attention as hundreds of local Detroiters took the pledge and gave up the unhealthy sugary drink for the month of November.
Building on the success of 2012, the 2013 challenge added another healthy step for participants to work toward: No Fried Foods. The campaign was also extended to include the month of December and was renamed as the 61 Day Challenge. Adding December was chosen because most Americans increase their caloric intake during this time of year due to holiday celebrations, and we hope to provide the support needed to maintain a healthy diet during events often filled with sugary, fried foods.
2014 continued the trend of adding healthy steps for participants, bringing the pledge to four items: no soda pop, no fried foods, no sweets and increased physical activity. The year's challenge was dubbed, Less Sugar, More Steps, and was a success throughout the community.
Did you know?
- The average American consumes over 22 teaspoons (352 calories) of added sugar every day
- On average, you should consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day
- Sugar can damage your heart, can lead to tooth decay and is linked to cancer, high blood pressure and depression
- Sugar can negatively impact how children learn and is linked to ADD/ADHD
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is an added sugar found in many unhealthy foods and is linked to Type II Diabetes and Obesity
- Common sources of added sugar are soda pop, energy drinks, sweetened fruit juices, candy, pastries and baked goods
- Of the many food additives, sugar is the second most common
- Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juices - even 100% fruit juice is high in natural sugar
- Eat more complex sugars and less simple sugars
- Consider sweetened drinks, like lemonade or fruit punch, as liquid candy
- Don't skip meals - this may cause a sugar craving
- Don't add sugar to foods
- Learn how to read a Nutrition Facts Label
- 1 teaspoon of table sugar = 4 grams of sugar = 16 calories
2015 - 61 Day Challenge Community Partners
- Quicken Loans
- Illitch Holdings
- The Links - Renaissance Chapter (Detroit)
- US Department of Probations
- Cornerstone Schools
- Harper Employee Engagement Committee
- Medical Weight Loss Clinics
- Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc