NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2018

Health Information Updates

Healthy Moments turns 10

By Julia Jackson

Healthy Moments 10th Anniversary Banner

When it was created a decade ago, no one would have predicted that Healthy Moments, a weekly radio and web segment, would become a prestigious national program.

Voiced by NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Healthy Moments is designed to explain and share research findings in plain language, the segment began in 2008 on just one station: Majic 102.3 FM, out of Washington, D.C. Ten years later, the show has been heard by more than 60 million listeners.

This year, Healthy Moments airs on more than 50 partner stations. It's regularly featured on the Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell Show and the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a national radio program that airs in more than 105 regions and where Rodgers is a frequent guest. The social media channel SoundCloud amplifies the show's reach as well.

How did the show snowball into such a large success?

"Our local community in the Washington, D.C., area responded so warmly to Healthy Moments during the first ‘Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day' event in 2008 that we decided to provide regular science-based health information segments to local radio audiences," said Rodgers, "We continue to get positive feedback from our wonderful listeners."

The show had a modest goal: Help patients, health professionals and the public better understand their health and how to maintain it. Feedback from listeners showed they particularly appreciated the science-based lifestyle tips the show provided, as well as interesting segments related to ongoing research. Other NIH institutes, sister agencies, and celebrities also took notice with special appearances from more than 20 guests, including Sugar Ray Leonard and Sean Elliott.

The future looks bright for Healthy Moments, with upcoming expert guests and topics ranging from the artificial pancreas to choosing a smart and successful weight control program.

Visit NIDDK's broadcast page to listen to past Healthy Moments episodes and watch videos.

NIH Body Weight Planner moves to NIDDK's website

Image of the Body Weight Planner tool

The NIH Body Weight Planner (BWP) has now moved to NIDDK's website from its former home on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) SuperTracker website. The free, online, interactive tool helps adults create personalized physical activity and calorie plans to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

More than 1 in 3 American adults are overweight or obese. Based on research led by Dr. Kevin Hall, chief of NIDDK's Integrative Physiology Section, the BWP’s science-based technology predicts how changes in diet and exercise will affect one's metabolism over time, allowing people – and their health care providers – to set and meet weight goals.

Watch a short instructional video about the Body Weight Planner.

NIDDK champions women as role models during National Kidney Month 2018

By Becky Abel

Photo of three women
Credit: Blend Images/Shutterstock.com

Women were the focus of World Kidney Day on March 8, including at the NIDDK. The Institute's theme, "Preventing Kidney Disease: Healthy Women, Healthy Families," continued through March for National Kidney Month (NKM), encouraging women to learn about prevention, management, and diagnosis of kidney disease.

Women are at slightly higher risk of kidney disease than men. More than 1 in 7 American adults are estimated to have kidney disease, and African Americans are nearly four times as likely to experience kidney failure compared to whites. People with early kidney disease usually have no symptoms, which is why getting tested is so important. In addition to high blood pressure and diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and a family history of kidney disease can put you at increased risk for kidney disease. Early detection of the disease is possible through testing.

In an effort to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease, NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers discussed the topic during 16 radio interviews, a television interview with WDVM-TV, and through articles in two regional magazines. Compared with 2017, NKM social media impressions increased by about 79 percent on NIDDK's Facebook and Twitter accounts, with more than 1.5 million social media impressions.

NIDDK also continued its partnership with Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., a professional nursing organization. Each year, the Institute provides kidney-related information to Chi Eta Phi event organizers, who then conduct blood pressure screenings at African-American churches. This year's events were conducted in 96 churches in 20 states following Sunday church services in March.

"During National Kidney Month every year, the NIDDK highlights the importance of kidney health, especially for people who are at increased risk for kidney disease, such as African Americans and people with diabetes or high blood pressure," Rodgers said. "This year, we highlighted women as health champions, and we invite families and faith communities to bring kidney health into the conversation."

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