Chef Ming Tsai, Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass and Assistant Coach Walter McCarty teamed up with Wes Thompson, President of Sun Life Financial U.S., and Kevin Washington, CEO of YMCA of Greater Boston, at a special community event designed to raise awareness of the critical risk factors associated with diabetes. NESN’s Dining Playbook producer and host Jenny Johnson served as the event’s emcee. The event officially kicked off Sun Life’s commitment to preventing the disease, which includes a $250,000 donation to YMCA of the USA to support the national expansion of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.
The nutrition and fitness event, designed to show the 150 area youth and adult participants how they can incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into daily routines, featured a physical activity session led by the Celtics stars and a cooking demonstration by the nationally renowned chef. It also included other fitness, nutrition and wellness activities, including a free diabetes risk assessment.
The Celtics stars joined Chef Tsai in leading a cooking demonstration on how to cook a simple and healthy meal for the whole family. The menu included healthy “fried” rice and a fruit kebob with low-calorie yogurt dip. Tsai also discussed the healthy practices he follows at his own restaurants, Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon, as well as at home with his family. At the clinic, Bass and McCarty demonstrated the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle by teaching youth in attendance fun basketball drills and other simple everyday exercises like jumping rope.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle modification program that helps people reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by educating them about the importance of healthy eating, physical activity and other life style changes. The program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program and is currently available at 754 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.