How 40,000 People Reversed Heart Disease

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It is well known that about two-thirds of the U.S. population is either overweight or obese. The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that approximately 75% of Western diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, gout, arthritis, excess weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, some cancers, impotence, biventricular disease, constipation, heartburn, and gallbladder disease, are “lifestyle-related.” They are directly correlated with our high fat diet, inadequate amounts of exercise, smoking, high intake of caffeine, and high amounts of stress coupled with insufficient support.

Hoping to address this alarming situation, more than 20 years ago, cardiovascular epidemiologist Hans A. Diehl, DrHSc, MPH, created the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP). Since then, this 40-hour community-based lifestyle intervention program has helped more than 40,000 people rediscover their health by preventing, arresting and reversing their diseases. It has been conducted in more than 150 North American cities as well as in Bangalore, India, Australia and Switzerland. Depending upon the needs of the group, the meetings are held either “live” with Dr. Diehl delivering the program personally (usually meeting four times per week for four weeks) or as a “video-based” program with certified CHIP facilitators (normally two times per week for eight weeks). In addition, Dr. Diehl is a best-selling author – To Your Health, Dynamic Living, and Health Power (co-authored with Aileen Ludington, M.D.) — as well as the executive editor of a 24-page quarterly Lifeline Health Letter; he has produced scores of health videos. CHIP empowers people through its scientifically-documented, educational and inspirational program that addresses common western diseases — those that used to be seen primarily later in life.

Today, these diseases increasingly appear at far younger ages. CHIP may make all the difference in one’s life — even the difference between life and death.

In 1999, CHIP launched a “community health transformation template” in Rockford, Illinois, a city with a population of 130,000. The intention was to transform Rockford into the healthiest city in American, thereby enabling it to serve as a model and template for cultural transformation on a community-wide level. Recently, CHIP was recognized as just such a model by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and was “approved” under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a “STEPS to a HealthierUS” applicant. In addition to “live” CHIP, a series of CHIP videos are offered through schools, churches, corporations, and hospitals. In Rockford, CHIP is sponsored by the Swedish American Health System’s Center for Complementary Medicine.

Who is the typical CHIP participant? Generally, CHIP participants are over the age of 40. Most are between the ages of 50 and 59. There are twice as many women as men, and almost 90% are married. Clinical research, published in peer review journals, has found that they have the following lifestyle diseases:

  • 10% report having heart disease
  • 27% have elevated blood sugar
  • 42% are overweight
  • 49% show evidence of hypertension
  • 60% are obese
  • 89% are cholesterol above 160mg%

Over the course of the program, strict adherents are likely to experience significant clinical improvements such as the following:

  • Serum cholesterol reduction average 15 – 20%
  • Average weight loss of six pounds
  • In about half of the participants with type 11 diabetes, a dramatic reduction in need for insulin and hypoglycemic agents
  • Lowering of high blood pressure levels
  • Diminishing of angina
  • Reduced levels of depression and increase in self-esteem

Class & Video Lecture Schedule

Week 1

Modern Medicine: Miracles, Medicines, & Mirages

The limitations of high-tech medical approaches in dealing with lifestyle related diseases

Portrait of a Killer: Onslaught from Within

Atherosclerosis, the culprit in many lifestyle diseases

Stalking the Killer

Reviewing the risk factors for coronary heart disease

Eat More and Weigh Less

Basic guidelines for healthy, sustained weight loss

Week 2

Going Up in Smoke

Smoking – the most controllable risk factor for coronary heart disease

The Magic of Fiber

The role of fiber in preventing and reversing lifestyle diseases

Reversing Hypertension

Changing the major risk factors for high blood pressure

Disarming Diabetes

Lifestyle factors that can arrest or reverse diabetes

Effective Cholesterol Control

Dietary factors that prominently affect blood levels of cholesterol

Fats in the Fire

The role of excessive fat intake in lifestyle diseases

Week …