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Britsh Heart Foundation: Dechox

What is Dechox?

Dechox is a campaign organised by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) that challenges people to give up chocolate for the month of March to raise money for heart research. Here are some statistics and figures related to the Dechox campaign in the UK:
  1. Participation Rates: Since its launch in 2015, thousands of people across the UK have taken part in Dechox each year. For instance, in 2022, over 20,000 people participated in the challenge.
  2. Funds Raised: The campaign has raised millions of pounds for heart research. For example, in 2022 alone, participants raised over £1 million.
  3. Health Benefits: Many participants report health benefits from taking part in Dechox, including weight loss, better skin, and improved energy levels. The BHF often highlights personal stories of individuals who have experienced positive health changes during the campaign.
  4. Awareness and Engagement: Dechox has a significant presence on social media, with thousands of posts tagged #Dechox each year. The campaign also garners attention from celebrities and influencers, further increasing its reach and impact.
  5. Repeat Participation: A substantial number of participants take part in Dechox multiple years in a row, showing a high level of engagement and commitment to the cause.
  6. Impact on Research: The funds raised through Dechox have contributed to numerous research projects funded by the BHF. These projects aim to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart and circulatory diseases, which affect millions of people in the UK.
If taking part in the British Heart Foundation Dechox challenge sounds like something you’d like to do, let’s delve deeper into why it happens and how to take part!

Why take part in Dechox?

By uniting with fellow chocoholics, you’ll create real change for people affected by heart and circulatory diseases, as well as your own health. If you complete the task and manage to raise £30 for charity through your fundraising page, you’ll also get sent an official medal to remember your triumphs. There are also other reasons why you could take part in the Dechox:

Kick start healthier habits

Dechox will help you get in the swing of healthier snacking, so you’re less likely to reach for sugary treats once the challenge is over. If you find yourself reaching for chocolate more than usual, what with working from home over the last couple of years, or being tempted by the seasonal treats in stores, this could be the perfect way to kickstart new habits.

Challenge yourself to eat less chocolate

More than two fifths of Brits confess to being chocoholics, and as many as 45% would really struggle to give up chocolate. Raising money for charity is the perfect way to ween yourself off the habit!

Support BHF to raise funds for research

Every scientific breakthrough that the British Heart Foundation has made has been thanks to charitable donations. Taking part in Dechox is the perfect way to give back if you or a loved one has benefited from treatment for a heart condition.

What can I do to give back?

There are 3 levels of Dechox that you can take part in to help tackle heart and circulatory diseases:
  • Chocoholic for change: Give up all things chocolatey
  • Sweet-tooth supporter: Get extra donations by giving up chocolate AND biscuits
  • Leader of the snack pack: Leaders of the snack pack quit chocolate, biscuits and cakes
  Giving up chocolate may seem like an easy task, but there will undoubtedly be times where the cravings feel like they’re getting the better of you. This could be after a long stressful day, if you’re out and about and fancy a treat, or even when you’re feeling hormonal. There are ways to combat the chocolate cravings though – here are a few options:  

Drink a glass of water:

It may sound silly, but staying hydrated can help with cravings for junk food. If you feel the need for something a bit sweeter, try sugar free squash in your water, or have the occasional fizzy drink to see if that helps.  

Go for a walk:

Releasing the endorphins and going on a brisk stroll can help you distract yourself from reaching for the treat cupboard. It’s also a good way to get the heart pumping and get some light exercise in, making you feel happier and healthier.  

Chew sugar-free gum:

Chewing gum can help to satisfy your sugary cravings without ruining your dechox, and is also a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.  

Drink or eat something bitter to reduce sweet cravings:

A bitter taste can overwhelm the sugar cravings you are having. Try citrus fruits or lemon water to trick your tastebuds.  

Eat fruit:

Fruit has natural sugars that will make sure your cravings are satisfied. Keeping fruit to hand will help every time you need a little pick me up and you’ll get some nutrients on the way.  

Eat little and often:

Making sure you’re eating regularly will stop you from snacking and trying to reach for the chocolate. Leaving long gaps between meals makes your blood sugar levels drop and mean you want a quick fix. Making sure you eat smaller meals more often can help.  

Find new chocolate replacements:

There are so many ways you can get a sweet fix instead of reaching for chocolate. Why not dip strawberries in yoghurt and pop them in the fridge to set, enjoy some sugar free jelly, freeze grapes with a sprinkling of sweetener or snack on rice cakes with peanut butter. Occasionally, indulge in a non-chocolatey pudding such as apple crumble and custard or sticky toffee pudding and ice cream.

Managing a Heart Condition

One of the main reasons you might like to take part in Dechox is to support a charity that may be close to your heart. Yourself or a loved one may suffer from a heart condition or had a heart attack in the past.  
  • Heart Disease occurs when the arteries to the heart become narrowed and obstructed by the build-up of fatty deposits. This prevents sufficient flow of oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart. Heart Disease causes around 26% of deaths in the UK and around 42,000 people under 75 will die of heart disease each year.
  • Different heart problems affect people in different ways and come in a range of severities, from mild heart arrhythmia to severe heart attacks. Heart conditions are classified by an event or illness that causes the heart to stop functioning at what should be a normal state.
  • Heart conditions can be hereditary, or they can develop through lifestyle choices. For the most part, they are lifelong conditions. Risk factors for developing heart disease include:
  1. Age – Growing older will increase your risk of damaged or narrowed arteries
  2. Sex – Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease, however the risk for women increases after menopause.
  3. Family history – A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease.
  4. Smoking – The nicotine in cigarettes tightens blood vessels and the carbon monoxide damages the inner linings.
  5. Poor diet – If your diet is high in fat, salt, sugar or cholesterol then this can contribute to heart disease.

How Life Insurance For Patients With Heart Disease Works

If you’re looking for life insurance with a heart condition, The Insurance Surgery can help. We can apply to providers who we feel can offer you the best policy for your personal circumstances. As a specialist broker, we find suitable insurance for a pre-existing health condition. If you have a heart condition, this will need to be disclosed on your life insurance application. When you make an application for Life Insurance the underwriters will need to obtain an accurate medical history to be able to arrive at a decision and a price for your policy. Some of the typical questions that you will need to answer about your heart condition include:
  • When you were diagnosed
  • What symptoms you experience, how often and how severe
  • How you manage the symptoms
  • Any treatment you have had, or are due to receive
  • Any hospitalisation
  • Any related conditions
Here at The Insurance Surgery we specialise in obtaining Life Insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Heart Disease is just one of the many conditions that our customers live with. The cost for cover is given by underwriters based on the severity of your condition and how well it has been managed. At The Insurance Surgery, we have access to the whole of the market so we can look around for the provider that looks most favourably at your heart condition to get you the right price. If you are looking for a life insurance policy, fill in our online enquiry form today.