The Curse of the Sugar Cube: Professor Blitz Delights around 300 Pupils with Magic Nutrition Tricks

The children stare at the magician Professor Blitz in disbelief, then the applause erupts. The magician has just conjured up a large sugar cube into a food package with the help of a confetti cannon. The magician playfully explains to the captivated children how much sugar there is in commercially prepared convenience food. Then he continues with his next show sequence, in which real eggs are conjured up. On World Children's Day (September 20th), about 300 children of the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be Fit” saw a magic show on healthy nutrition at Düsseldorf University Hospital.

(From left to right:) Professor Andreas Meyer-Falcke, commissioner for Health of the state capital Düsseldorf, was enthusiastic about the magic show, here with Professor Blitz and Professor Karsten Müssig, head of the SMS initiative. Source: SMS

Flying sugar cubes, sweet soda that turns into milk, ketchup bottles and eggs that dissolve in the air: these and other magic tricks were presented by the Düsseldorf comedy artist Guido Hoehne in his role as Professor Blitz. The around 300 primary school children of the SMS initiative were enthralled and eagerly participated as helpers. With magic tricks, scientific experiments and short lecture sequences, the magician illustrated vividly and humorously to the children where sugar and other substances are hidden in food. "Having a balanced diet with a daily serving of fruits and vegetables is important for children to thrive. A magic show like this explains in a playful way what healthy eating is all about, "said Professor Andreas Meyer-Falcke, MD, commissioner for Health of the city of Düsseldorf, who spoke words of welcome to the magic show.

"These two factors – sitting and eating too much – often lead to an imbalance between energy input and output due to insufficient physical activity, thus favoring the development of overweight. Through my infotainment program, I want to draw children's attention to these issues and show them how they can take countermeasures," said Guido Hoehne, explaining his commitment.

Professor Karsten Müssig, head of the SMS initiative, added: "With the children's magic show, we want to teach the basics of a healthy lifestyle in a clear and easy-to-understand way to the participating primary school children. When we see with how much enthusiasm the children participate in the event, we are encouraged in our approach. We seek to show  children early on how much fun it can be to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly and thus prevent lifestyle-related illnesses in the long term."

Since 1998, Guido Hoehne has been inspiring both children and adults with his theater character "Professor Blitz", explaining complex topics in an entertaining way. Through this children's magic show, Guido Hoehne supports the SMS initiative of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), which aims to raise children’s awareness of a balanced diet and regular exercise at a young age. In order to give the children a special treat, especially on World Children's Day, the SMS initiative has for the third time invited all participating elementary schools of the project to an event on the topic of "healthy eating and regular exercise."

The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." led by Professor Karsten Müssig at Düsseldorf primary schools seeks to counteract overweight/obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The children earn  their “aid” nutrition pilot license in cooperation with the Educational Center for Dietary Assistants of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie and take part in the exercise program for primary schools “Fitness for Kids” developed by sports scientist Professor Kerstin Ketelhut.
In addition, the pupils experience the perception of their own body in the sensory classroom of the Präha Weber School in a motor skills training course. They are also taught relaxation exercises in cooperation with the initiative “Physical Activity during School Recess” of the Dietrich Grönemeyer Foundation and the Deichmann company.  The two health insurance companies IKK classic and KKH, the organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, the Sports Department of Düsseldorf and other renowned partners and prominent people support the project and provide the participating school children with additional attractive venues for learning outside of school. The patron of the initiative is Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf. In 2015 the SMS initiative was awarded the support logo of IN FORM – Germany’s initiative for a healthy diet and more exercise, and in 2016 was awarded the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).

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