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Sin City Swallow Conference 2015 – #ThickenedLiquidChallenge

green-smoothie[Editor’s note: Click here for videos. Please check back frequently for new video posting. This challenge is for patients, the professionals who support us, and anyone else who wishes to join in. It can be held while attending the conference or at your home, place of employment, or wherever else it feels appropriate.]

The 10th annual Advanced Practices in Voice and Dysphagia Conference (aka Sin City Swallow Conference), being held at Bally’s, is just around the corner. The NFOSD is promoting the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge to:

  • Increase swallowing disorder awareness,
  • Demonstrate patient unity with the millions of Americans who consume thickened liquids daily due to swallowing disorders, and
  • Provide education about the types of thickeners available

For those attending the conference: The challenges will be held throughout the duration of the event at the NFOSD exhibit table. The foundation will provide the beverages, thickeners, and photos/videos of those who take the challenge. Videos will be uploaded to YouTube for posting on this webpage during the event.

For those of you who are not attending the conference: Between now and March 7th, we’d like to include patients, professionals, and anyone else up to the task. You don’t have to wait for the conference to start… and you don’t have to end when the conference ends.

This is a simple challenge that is focused on putting oneself into the shoes of patients who are prescribed thickened liquids on a regular and ongoing basis.

Here’s the challenge, the rules are simple:

  • If you have a swallowing disorder, consume your nutrition in the manner you normally consume it, regardless of whether this is oral, via a feeding tube, or with assistance from a caregiver
  • All others, drink an 8 ounce drink of your choice thickened to a honey consistency (see recipe below)
  • Videotape yourself taking the challenge
  • State your name and if you are an NFOSD member (membership not required). Briefly describe why you are taking this challenge (awareness, unity, education)
  • Challenge someone else to take the challenge
  • Post the video on YouTube**. Tweet about it on Tweeter using the hashtag #thickenedliquidchallenge, #Dysphagia2015 and mention @NFOSD. Email your YouTube link to Please share video on your other social networking sites such as Facebook

**If you’d like, we’ll post the video for you, just email your clip and a caption to

The NFOSD would like to thank Dr. Eric Widera and his team for providing the inspiration to further awareness of a disorder which affects an estimated 15 million American adults and countless numbers of infants and children. These disorders are a drain on an already overburdened healthcare system and are poorly understood, under-diagnosed and, as a result, mistreated, even by experienced professionals.

Medical disclaimer: The information posted on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with an appropriate health care professional, as each individual’s medical situation is unique. It is important that you consult with your medical professional (e.g., physician, SLP) before implementing any course of treatment. Experiences that are new to you should be done with the help of a caregiver and when access to emergency medical care is available.

Note, if we’re successful during this event, we’ll be challenging other groups and organizations to participate.

Click here to be directed to our Membership page to read about member benefits and suggested donations.

Click here to be directed to our page on disorder basics: stats, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment.


*Recipe (need thickener?) – What you need to make Honey Thick liquids:

1) 8 oz. of your favorite liquid

2) Instant Food Thickener:

– Starch based: ThickIt®, Thick & Easy®

– Gum-based: ThickenUp® Clear, SloDrinks®, Thick & Easy® Clear or Simply Thick®

Refer to the packet or container to determine the amount of instant food thickener you will need for Honey Consistency.

If your drink of choice is a soda, wine, mixed drink or beer, you must use a gum-based thickener.

Mixing instructions:

For a starch-based thickener like ThickIt®, pour your beverage into a glass, add the thickener and stir vigorously for 90 seconds.  Wait 2 – 3 minutes for the thickener to work, re-stir before consuming.

For a granular gum-based thickener like ThickenUp® Clear, place the thickener in the glass, add the liquid and stir for 90 seconds. Wait 2 – 3 minutes before drinking.

For Simply Thick®, place your beverage in a glass or in a small bottle, add the Simply Thick® and stir or shake vigorously for 10 seconds or until completely dispersed.

Need a pack of thickener? Email us at with your name, mailing address, and the type of beverage you plan to use and we’ll drop a packet in the mail to you pronto.


This challenge has been adapted from GeriPal, A Geriatric and Palliative Care Blog, to fit within the format of a conference setting while understanding that, this is LAS VEGAS. And, not everything that happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.



Videos (click on pictures below)
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Ed Steger, NFOSD President, Challenges all those with swallowing disorders to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Dr. Peter Belafsky kicks off the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge at the Sin City Swallow Convention and Challenges Dr. Al Marati.


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Dr. Merati accepts Dr. Belafsky’s Challenge


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Cook OHNS, NFOSD Sponsor, takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



Thickened Liquid Challege (Liza Erin Sarah)





Sarah, Erin, and Liza Challenges Christen L., Elizabeth L. Lauren B., Jan P. and Elisa H.



Lisa Ingrassia v1





Lisa I. Challenges Jennifer B.



Dr. Hillel v0





Dr. Hillel Challenges Dr. Al M.



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Mambo the Dog and Elizabeth L. Challenges Kim C. and Elise B.



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The Steele Swallowing Lab Challenges colleagues at  Johns Hopkins, NY Methodist, Marianjoy Rehab, MD Anderson, U of Wisconsin, and many more: Nancy Swigert, Ianessa Humbert, Emily Plowman!



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Matt D. Challenges Matt H.



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Laura M. Challenges YOU to the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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University of Washington Medical Center Challenges many friends and colleagues!



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Jennifer B. Challenges Michelle and Brenda to the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



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The Deptford Center of New Jersey participates in the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



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New York Methodist Hospital accepts the Steel Lab’s Challenge



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The Swallowing Neurophysiology Lab (humbertlab.comChallenges Emily P., Georgia P., Marty B. and many more!


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Kathy Challenges Susan and Jonathan to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge


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Susan accepts Kathy’s Challenge


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Liza R. Challenges Ann to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge at the Sin City Swallow Convention!



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Taking the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge at the Sin City Swallow Convention!



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Christa Challenges Carrie to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Taking the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge at the Sin City Swallow Convention!



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Christie W. Challenges Michael to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Anna and Natalie Challenge Jennifer and Megan



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Melanie B. Challenges Brad to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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SimplyThick Founder Challenges his team to the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Laura Challenges Katelyn



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Taking the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge at Sin City Swallow Convention



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Greg Challenges Cynthia



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Cynthia accepts and Challenges Emily



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Take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



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Troy accepts Ed’s nomination



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Elizabeth Challenges Telia and Alexis



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Josette Challenges Michelle



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Jennifer Challenges Elise and Lauren



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Jennifer, Brit, and Keira Challenge Erin, MaryAnn, and Brad



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Pedro takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Christie takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Drinking the nectar of the gods: Honey-Thick Chardonnay



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Nicki Challenges Jonathan



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Jennifer takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Benjamin and Sierra Challenge their coworkers



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Dr. Silvana Faria takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Dr. Kathryn Gold and Karen Oishii take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Ivory Edwards takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Drs. Jeffrey Myers and Clifton David Fuller take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Speech Pathologists take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Dr. Tara Sagebiel takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge



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Sonja and colleagues accept the Steele Lab’s #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



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Students at the University of Illinois take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Brooke & Lizzy take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Hannah Challenges Marisa and Emily to take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Megan takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Jon Challenges Jane to the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Amanda and Rachel take the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!


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Nicole takes the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



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Amy and Maggie Challenge Stephanie and Sarah to the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge!



4 Comments On “Sin City Swallow Conference 2015 – #ThickenedLiquidChallenge

  1. […] the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD), the #ThickenedLiquidChallenge was started ...

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