Brooklyn Daily Eagle
On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams capped American Heart Month — observed nationwide in February — with the launch of the Brooklyn Healthy Workplace Challenge in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA), aimed at changing the dietary and exercise habits at businesses across the borough. The initiative is inspired in part by Adams’ desire to expand his personal struggle against Type 2 diabetes to a boroughwide battle against diseases sparked by poor food choices. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the metabolic disease, accounting for 90-95 percent of diagnosed cases in the U.S. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death among adults with diabetes. Adams spoke about the initiative and his own journey to reverse his poor health through lifestyle changes.
“More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and one in four don’t even know it. I was one of them,” said Adams. “Diabetes can have a devastating impact on your body and can lead to blindness, heart disorder, kidney failure, limb amputation and possible dialysis. After I learned of my diagnosis, I changed my eating habits to include fresh produce, and I eliminated processed foods and sugar. I have never felt better and am now in more control of my health. Brooklynites also have the power to control their wellness, at home and in the workplace. I ask you to join me as we make Brooklyn the healthiest borough in which to work. Together, we can improve Brooklyn’s health and wellness!”
Both Adams and AHA have recognized the important role that the environments in which Brooklynites live, work, study, play and pray impact their health. By addressing these settings directly, their shared mission of the Brooklyn Healthy Workplace Challenge is to make the healthy choice the default choice through a “culture of health,” starting with the food and beverage options both inside and outside one’s place of employment.
The kickoff for the Brooklyn Healthy Workplace Challenge took place in the Brooklyn Navy Yard at 1776, a global innovation network and startup incubator participating in the challenge. Adams and representatives from AHA were joined by a number of local businesses that have already signed up, including the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, DUMBO Business Improvement District (BID), Forest City Ratner Companies, Industry City and Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.
“As one of the nation’s largest and most popular bike share systems, Citi Bike is on the forefront of initiatives that support health. The Brooklyn Healthy Workplace Challenge is a great way to ensure we are practicing what we preach,” said Jules Flynn, general manager of Citi Bike.
Businesses interested in participating in the Brooklyn Healthy Workplace Challenge can register at heart.org/foodwhereur; for the 2017-2018 edition of the challenge, the deadline to register is Friday, Sept. 1. Adams and AHA will announce the winners at next year’s launch during American Heart Month in February.