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Vol. LVII, No. 13
July 1, 2005

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Health and Fitness Expo a Success

Expo attendees test their strength by tackling a 30-foot rock-climbing wall.  
Last month, local area shoppers got a dose of good health and fitness at this year's Share the Health expo in Wheaton. The annual free NIH health and fitness event attracted thousands of shoppers at Westfield Shoppingtown, Wheaton (formerly Wheaton Plaza) who stopped to explore interactive health exhibits, health screenings, hands-on lab experiments, lab-art workshops and much more.

The shopping center announced that there were 35,000 shoppers on event day, said Walter Mitton of the Office of Community Liaison. "This number was a 25 percent increase from the Sunday before the NIH Expo. In other words, the NIH event attracted an additional 6,000 people to the mall. Westfield also invited us back for next year's expo."

Sponsored by OCL and the Recreation and Welfare Association, the event allowed attendees to learn what NIH really does, to see research results and to meet scientists and health specialists. Attendees had their blood pressure checked, were examined for skin, head or neck cancer and learned about their level of body fat. They also perused interactive exhibits. Many people met Holly Heart, a robot who answered their heart-health questions. They also learned how to find reliable health information on the Internet.

Clockwise from above:
Children participate in a hands-on Lab Art Workshop.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue-Wheaton District attracts a crowd of youngsters.

Mall patrons stop for a Dermascan facial skin analysis.

Blood pressure checks as well as alcohol screening, body fat assessment and head and neck cancer screening were among the drop-by wellness tables available.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service's spokescharacter, the Power Panther, makes friends with several Share the Health volunteers. This is the first year other agencies exhibited at the event. Sister HHS agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration teamed up with the Uniformed Commission Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and the Department of Agriculture to join the 2005 expo.

Using a Breathalyzer, cigarette smokers can measure their carbon monoxide levels.

Children had lots of fun, as they suited up with lab coats and goggles and performed hands-on lab experiments. They participated in lab-art workshops and worked out in the giant Moon Bounce. Teens used the opportunity to explore the latest health-related computer games, to navigate an obstacle course with Fatal Vision goggles that throw off eye-muscle coordination to simulate intoxication and to scale the 30-foot rock-climbing wall.

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