Wait – you mean our health messages really do work??!! 


Kaiser Educational Theatre, October 6, 2009. (Photo by Ellen Jaskol)

I’ve worked for Kaiser Permanente for 10 years, all in the Arts Integrated Resources department.  For all my years here we’ve been teaching children these health messages:

Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.

Spend less than 2 hours in front of screens

Get at least 1 hour of physical activity.

Drink 0 sugary beverages.

I can recite those messages in my sleep.

Now I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that for most of my 10 years here, I’ve also been struggling with my weight. Like the average American I’ve tried different “diets” over the years, but to this day I still haven’t solved my problem.

Recently I was talking to one of the actors in the assemblies we present to schools. He looks great, eats well and has a lot of energy. He told me he’s lost about 30 pounds since he started working with us. I asked him, “How?” and he said, “Honestly I just started living our health messages. I really focused on eating more fruits and vegetables and moving for over an hour every day.”

The simplicity and obvious-ness of his statement dumbfounded me. Our health messages really do work – IF YOU USE THEM.

HT4So I’m trying. I can’t say that I’m consistently eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But I can tell you that when I eat healthy I actually crave healthier food. And when I’m active, my body and my mind feel good. Luckily for me I’ve never liked soda or sugary beverages, so I’ve mastered that message. And my favorite thing to do when I’m not working is to read, which keeps my screen time to a minimum.

Can I say that “Two out of four ain’t bad”?

I suppose the rest will continue to be a work in progress.

Check out this video highlighting Arlene.