Festival of Health Offers Tips on "Battle of the Bulge"
LOS ANGELES, August 23, 2000 - In spite of its reputation as the hard-body capital of the nation, research shows that an increasing number of California adults are overweight. And the second annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Health - to be held Sept. 16-17 on the University of Southern California University Park campus in Los Angeles - will offer the fitness, health and nutrition tips Southern Californians need to help fight the relentless battle of the bulge.

The public festival is free and will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On-campus parking is available for $5.

More than 100 health experts will participate in close to 40 workshops and panel discussions focusing on such topics as breakthrough medical care; cardiac health care; fitness and exercise; women's health issues; allergies and asthma; diets; vitamins and minerals; alternative therapies; and the best health-related sites on the World Wide Web.

Free on-site health services available at the Festival of Health include screenings for asthma, cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure and oral health; breast examinations and mammograms; mother and child wellness exams; prescription evaluations; and pregnancy tests. Osteoporosis heel screenings and hip and spinal scans will be offered at modest fees.

Detailed event information will be available in the official festival program, which will be published in the Sept. 11 edition of The Times, and on the festival's Web site, General information is also available by calling 800/528-4637 ext. 7WELL (79355).


Maureen Reagan, nationally recognized lecturer, political analyst and health advocate, will deliver Saturday afternoon's keynote address. She will be introduced by actor and Alzheimer's Assn. spokesman David Hyde Pierce, best known for his role as Niles Crane on the NBC hit series, "Frasier."

Preceding Reagan and Pierce on Saturday will be legendary physical fitness expert Jack LaLanne.

The event's six stages will offer a wide range of health and fitness activities including martial arts demonstrations; aerobic, dance and exercise classes; nutrition and cooking demonstrations; health screenings; as well as family and children's entertainment.

Stages focusing on health, exercise and nutrition include:

Fitness Stage

Saturday: Amy Hendel, originator of the Body Jam, will lead a body sculpting class that combines calisthenics, aerobics and weight training; Discovery Health Channel's Stephanie Oakes will showcase the latest fitness trends, including skateboarding, surfing, skiing and snowboarding. Seasoned veterans and national competitors from the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, headed by Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee Alla Svirsky, will conduct a children's rhythmic gymnastics demonstration. Bally's Total Fitness trainers will offer a free aerobics class and martial artists will demonstrate their skills in children's karate and capoeira, the 400-year-old Brazilian martial art.

Sunday: T'ai chi ch'uan and bodybuilding demonstrations will be led by internationally recognized instructor Lana Spraker and Mr. Universe 1996 Doug Brignole, respectively. Barbara Schwarz and Deborah Allsbrook will conduct a session on gyrokinesis, an exercise system incorporating many key principles of yoga, dance, gymnastics and t'ai chi. Personal growth consultant and author Rose Offner will lead one of her renowned "Journal to the Soul" motivational workshops, and "Yoga for Dummies" co-author Larry Payne will conduct a workshop on the samata form of yoga.

Doctors of USC Stage

Saturday: Leading faculty physicians from the Keck School of Medicine at USC will conduct informational workshops on preventing and treating sports-related back injuries; advances in colon and skin cancer prevention and treatment; and simple solutions for Type 1 diabetes.

Sunday: USC faculty will discuss cancer prevention for women; advances in the treatment of childhood cancer; new therapies for retinal and macular degeneration; preventing and treating strokes; and new options in live-donor transplants.

Food Stage

Saturday: Professionally trained chef and radio talk show host Jamie Gwen; renowned executive chef Louis Lanza; and authors Molly Siple, "Healing Foods for Dummies," and Jean Wade, "How Sweet It Is…Without the Sugar."

Sunday: Chef and author Cory Schreiber, winner of the 1998 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest; Jim Schiebler, Men's Health and Men's Fitness magazine correspondent; leading vegetarian chef Ann Gentry; and authors Patricia Greenberg, "The Whole Soy Cookbook," and Su-Mei Yu, "Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking."

Interactive Events

The Festival of Health will also feature several interactive programs, including:

• Gatorade S.W.E.A.T. Force basketball relays and hoop toss competitions;
• An 85-foot-long Iron Man challenge course featuring tunnel crawls, squeeze plays and obstacle walls;
• Twin Peaks, at 35 feet high the largest portable rock climbing wall in the country;
• Slap-shot hockey, fastball pitching and grand-slam batting cages; and
• Ski and golf driving-range simulators.

The festival is presented in association with USC and is sponsored by The Doctors of USC, KTLA TV 5, Bally's Total Fitness, The California Wellness Foundation, HeaRx, Natural HealthLink and Radio Disney.