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Alcohol Awareness Month 2013

Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of health-related problems like injuries, violence, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April during Alcohol Awareness Month, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department encourages you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month and prevent alcohol abuse in our community. 

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting.   Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
• Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
• Keep track of how much you drink.
• Don’t drink when you are upset.
• Avoid places where people drink too much.
• Make a list of reasons not to drink.

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2013 National Public Health Week

The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department recognizes National Public Health Week 2013 by hosting events all week long the first week of April at the McDowell County Health Department and promoting this year’s theme, “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money.”

Every year in the United States, seven out of 10 deaths are due to preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.   In fact, chronic diseases account for a whopping 75 percent of national health care spending, yet only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention.

This week the McDowell Health Department will be hosting events  to show people the fun, easy and small steps they can take to make prevention a part of their lives. The events showcase the value of investing in prevention: Research shows that investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts can save the nation more than $16 billion within five years.  That’s a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.

We all have a role to play in making our communities healthier places and the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is excited to help lead the way.

Many small preventive steps can add up to make a big difference in transforming a health care system focused on treatment to one that equally values prevention.

For example, research shows that each 10 percent increase in local public health spending contributes to a nearly 7 percent  decrease in infant deaths, a 3.2 percent decrease in cardiovascular deaths and a 1.4 percent decrease in diabetes-related deaths.

Public health and prevention are critical pieces in creating a healthier nation.

Since 1995, communities nationwide have celebrated NPHW each April to draw attention to the need to help protect and improve the nation’s health.  For more information visit http://www.nphw.org.

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2013 National Nutrition Month

The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proud to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during March in celebrating National Nutrition Month®. This year's National Nutrition Month theme is "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" and encourages consumers to develop a healthful eating plan that incorporates individual food choices and preferences.

Here are a few ways to "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" from the food and nutrition experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Personalize your eating style: The easiest way to get the nutrients your body needs is to eat healthy foods you enjoy. Finding good-for-you foods that please your palette makes eating healthfully special and exciting.
  • Eat for your lifestyle: Athletic, vegetarian/vegan, corporate and family lifestyles all have special nutritional needs, but eating right can be easy and tasty with attention to those foods that best help get you through the day.
  • Incorporate cultural and ethnic traditions: Foods from around the globe often incorporate an abundance of unique, flavorful and nourishing ingredients. Keep traditions alive and bring the world to your family's table.
  • Keep health concerns in mind: A healthful eating plan can help prevent and treat a variety of health concerns. With modification and moderation, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods while meeting your nutritional needs and health goals.
  • Make MyPlate your plate: Fill half of your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables; keep protein portions lean and about three ounces; make at least half of your grain choices whole grains; and be sure to include low-fat or fat-free dairy.

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' National Nutrition Month website, which is located at www.eatright.org/nnm, includes a variety of helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" theme.

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.

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February 2013 - American Heart Month

Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It's the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its affects, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proudly participating in American Heart Month.

Did you know that since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women's survival contintues to widen.  

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin every day if you are a man over the age of 45, or a woman past menopause.
  • Manage stress.

For more tips and information please visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

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January 2013 - Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department wants you to know that there's a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. About 20 million Americans currently have HPV (human papillomavirus), the most common sexually transmitted disease. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer.

The good news?

  • HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.
  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department encourages:

  • Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
  • Women to get the HPV vaccine before age 27
  • Parents to make sure their pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
  • Men to get the HPV vaccine if you are under age 22

Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company.

Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy.



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