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CHIP Participants Walk 1,000 Miles In Four Weeks
GREENEVILLE, TN – Participants with the fall session of the Coronary Health Improvement Project walked a whopping 1,000 miles during the four-week program.


“We almost circled Tennessee’s borders,” Lynda Nelson, local program director of CHIP, said. “Exercise is a vital part of the program.”

The eight participants also lowered their total cholesterol by 19.2  percent, Nelson said. “This is a significant drop,” she said. “We tell people coming in that 10-15 percent is great.”

Blood pressure also was lowered by 11 percent, “Again, significant, because they started with relatively good blood pressures,” Nelson said.

And, the group lost an average of around 7 pounds each – or 50½  pounds total. “That’s really as fast as you want them to lose in a month,” Nelson said.

Takoma Regional Dietitian Joanie Scott was one of the participants this year. “I was a skeptic coming in,” Scott said. “I didn’t really think I could obtain any significant results in just four weeks. I really did it as a dietitian because I was curious about what CHIP taught.”

What Scott learned, however, was that she could improve her health in just one month. “I lowered my cholesterol from 180 to 145, and lost four pounds,” she said. “I was so surprised. I learned so much from this program. It was a good lesson for me on food choices and portion control. I learned that I really am what I eat. Now, I can’t recommend this program enough. It really works.”

Another participant, Mary “Howie” Mullis of Greeneville, said she was surprised by her test results at the beginning of the program.

“I was a vegetarian going into the program and thought I was in pretty good health, but I discovered that my cholesterol and blood pressure were very high,” Mullis said. “In four weeks, following CHIP principles, my cholesterol dropped by 100 points into the normal range. Now, I’m eating more and losing weight. I’ve gone down a dress size.”

CHIP targets people who have or wish to avoid heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The program is patterned after national live-in programs, such as the Nathan Pritikin Longevity Center, that last three to six weeks and cost thousands of dollars.

“Our CHIP program is very affordable, in part, because of the generous support of Takoma Regional Hospital,” Nelson said.

The next evening CHIP program will be offered Jan. 18-Feb. 18, with information sessions running from Jan. 7-12.

For more information, please call Lynda Nelson at 638-6633 or Peggy West at 638-7804, or visit their website at