CSC presents Donnie McClurkin

Three time Grammy Award and NAACP Image Award Winner, Pastor Donnie McClurkin!

Cancer Screening Centers is proud to present the Cancer Story Gospel Event, featuring Donnie McClurkin,

For more information including ticket prices please email

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New York approves “soda” ban

New York skyline with giant soft drink bottleSugary drinks were checked off of Mayor Bloomberg’s hit list today as the Board of Health approved his ban on any (tea, soda, coffee, and juice) large (over 16 oz) sugar-sweetened drink.  It does not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores (good news for slushy fanatics), drinks containing more than 70% fruit juice, dairy based drinks, alcoholic beverages, and “diet” drinks. Violation of the new restriction will be a wallet pinch as restaurants will have 9 months to comply or be faced with $200 fines.

The logic behind this dramatic restriction is the same as what drove the tobacco ban in public spaces (also a Bloomberg initiative) – limiting public access to large, sugary drinks will lower their caloric intake and make them lose weight.  Pretty much everyone knows (though they may not put it into practice) the common equation for losing weight is to (1) burn more calories than are being consumed and (2) ensure proper health by maximizing the nutrient value of the calories being consumed i.e. eat less and eat healthier. It seems easy enough, but anyone who has gone on a diet will tell you that fat and sugar cravings can be insanity inducing, even when the individual is committed to healthy living.  Enter the market for the “diet” soda for which the new soda ban makes an exception.

Diet drinks claim to be healthier because they are lower in calories. But according to Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, frequent consumption of diet soda may increase the risk for vascular diseases including heart attack and stroke. Skeptics have argued for years about the potential negative effects of aspartame, a common low-calorie replacement for sugar often found in “sugar-free” foods and diet drinks, on the body. Some claim it raises insulin levels and “acts as a neurotoxin” in the body.

With the jury still out on diet drinks, the question still remains: will this ban have any measurable effect on obesity rates?  51 percent of New Yorkers are against the ban, and allegations of the creation of a “nanny state” have been made against Mayor Bloomberg. Does the government have the right to dictate what people eat or drink? Do we even need the government to make those decisions?

I for one remain skeptical as to the effect of the new legislation. Smaller sizes are not going to stop a person’s sugar cravings. Nor are they going to keep someone from ingesting too many calories.  There are too many unhealthy alternatives (including candy and snacks) to “smaller” sodas in the corner bodega. Real change must come from the individual. Only by choosing to change habits, outlook, and lifestyle is a person able to move out of obesity. Controversial legislation like the soda ban raises media attention to the obesity issue and may even discourage people from the “big gulp” route to unhealthy living. It does not, however, create lasting change in the lives and outlooks of its citizens. That decision will always be personal.

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Dine to Donate Success

These guys were a riot!

Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support for Cancer Screening Centers at Applebees on Thursday. We had a great time meeting with you and our Founder, Dr. Clarisse Clemmons-Ferrara in Harlem. All of the money raised with this event will go toward raising awareness about early detection testing and bringing the first AMAS laboratory to New York. So give yourselves a pat on the back from all of us!

Have a great weekend!


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