A healthier America begins with living tobacco and drug-free and preventing alcohol abuse
TOBACCO, DRUGS AND ALCOHOL KILL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS each year. Death and disease from tobacco, drug and alcohol use is preventable. By living tobacco- drug- and alcohol- free, more Americans can live healthier, longer-lasting lives. If we take small actions, our communities, homes and families will see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement. Join the American Public Health Association as we work toward taking preventive measures to live healthier lives.
Did you know?
- Cigarette smoking, which is the most common form of tobacco use, causes approximately 443,000 deaths and costs about $96 billion in medical costs and $97 billion in productivity losses in the United States each year.
- Every day, nearly 4,000 young people try their first cigarette and approximately 1,000 will become daily smokers. More than 80 percent of adult cigarette smokers start before their 18th birthday. Children of parents who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves.
- More than a quarter of the U.S. population (88 million people), and more than half of all children in the United States, are exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular basis.
- Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol impaired driver – one death every 48 minutes.
- Chronic drug use, crime and incarceration are inextricably connected.
Together we can change these statistics and live longer and healthier lives. Each year, more than 443,000 people die from tobacco use, and nearly 80,000 die from alcohol use. Simple changes in lifestyle, daily routines and policy changes could save thousands of lives. The most effective prevention measures are created when the community, employers and employees work together to help reduce tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Taking action to do so is common sense, is effective and can save lives.
- Quit using tobacco products. Ask your health service provider or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for cessation support.
- Make homes smoke-free to protect yourself and your family members from secondhand smoke.
- Avoid binge drinking, use of illicit drugs or the misuse of prescription medications and, as needed, seek help from a clinician for substance use disorders.
- Encourage employers to develop substance management, tobacco-cessation and intervention programs for employees.
- Do not drive if you have been drinking alcohol or after taking any drug that can alter your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
- Advocate for smoke-free and tobacco-free policies that improve indoor air quality, reduce negative health outcomes among nonsmokers, decrease tobacco consumption and encourage tobacco users to quit.
- Promote tobacco-free environments in your home, business, school and areas of recreation to protect individuals from secondhand smoke.
- Ensure that youth cannot access alcohol in your home.
- Support implementation and enforcement of alcohol and drug control policies.
- Increase awareness on the proper storage and disposal of prescription medications.
- Create a local movement: Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in response to a recent article that highlights the importance of living tobacco- and drug-free while avoiding high-risk alcohol consumption during NPHW and beyond.
- Invite local policymakers and others to a community roundtable to discuss substance abuse and follow up with specific actions.
- Support your family, friends and neighbors when they are working to live tobacco- and drug-free, and reduce high-risk alcohol consumption.
There is much more you can do to help live tobacco- and drug-free and avoid alcohol abuse. By raising prevention awareness within your community during National Public Health Week, you can help your community members live healthier and longer lives. To learn more about substance abuse and mental health services, visit http://www.samhsa.gov.
A healthier America begins with active living and healthy eating
SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST CHANGE CAN MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE. If we take small actions, our communities, homes and families will see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement. Eating healthy and engaging in regular physical activity are just a few of the ways people can stay healthy. Yet each year, despite these easy ways to stay healthy, nearly 1 million Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented. Eating less, eating healthier and exercising regularly can go a long way toward helping Americans lessen their risk from deaths that could have been prevented, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. Even the smallest preventive changes and initiatives can make a big difference in living healthier lives.
Did you know?
- Fewer than 15 percent of adults and 10 percent of adolescents eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day.
- More than two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese. Approximately one in five children are overweight or obese by the time they reach their sixth birthday, and over half of obese children became overweight at or before age 2.
- Physical inactivity is a primary contributor to one-third of the adult population being overweight or obese and one in six children and adolescents being obese.
- At least 40 percent of adults and 80 percent of adolescents do not meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
- In combination with healthy eating, physical activity can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death in America.
Together we can change these statistics and live longer and healthier lives. Small changes can help yourself, your family and your community. Taking action, both big and small, to promote active living and healthy eating is more than just common sense — it works. Here are just a few examples:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, consume less sugar and fat, eat healthier snacks, watch portion size and eat together as a family.
- Eat less by avoiding oversized portions, make half of the plate fruits and vegetables, make at least half of the grains whole grains, switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk, choose foods with less sodium and drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Take part in Let’s Move! activities. Let’s Move!, launched by first lady Michelle Obama, is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation.
- Engage in physical activity every day. Aim for a total of 60 minutes for children, 30 minutes for adults.
- Consider following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations that children under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than one to two hours a day of quality programming.
- Supplement aerobic activities with muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.
- Support walk and bike-to-school programs and work with local governments to make decisions about selecting school sites that can promote physical activity.
- Plan family trips to parks and other outdoor locations.
- Post information about NPHW on your Facebook page, blog or Twitter account and share how you are working to live a more active and healthier life with your friends.
- Submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper in response to a recent article that underscores the importance of active living and healthy eating during NPHW and beyond.
- Create a local movement: start a farmers market, a food co-op, a community garden, a demonstration kitchen, a supper club or a canning circle.
- Lead or convene city, county and regional food policy councils to assess local community needs and expand programs (e.g., community gardens, farmer’s markets) that bring healthy foods, especially locally grown fruits and vegetables, to schools, businesses and communities.
- Encourage local restaurants to provide nutrition information to customers on their menus and limit marketing of unhealthy food to children and youth.
- Work with schools to add more physical activity into the school day, including additional physical education classes, before- and after-school programs, recess and opening school facilities for student and family recreation in the late afternoon and evening.
- Mayors and community leaders can promote physical fitness by working to increase safe routes for kids to walk and ride to school; revitalizing parks, playgrounds and community centers; and providing fun and affordable sports and fitness programs.
There is much more you can do to help promote active living and healthy eating beyond these actions. By raising awareness of prevention within your community during National Public Health Week, you can help members of your community live healthier and longer lives.
The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proud to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) during March in celebrating National Nutrition Month®. This year's National Nutrition Month theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape" and encourages consumers to remember to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on their plates every day.
Here are a few ways to "Get Your Plate in Shape" from the food and nutrition experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange varieties. Add fresh, dried, frozen or canned fruits to meals and snacks.
- Make at least half your grains whole: Choose 100 percent whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk: Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. For those who are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
- Vary your protein choices: Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs. Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean. And be sure to choose seafood as the protein at least twice a week.
- Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars: Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers, and season your foods with herbs and spices instead of salt. Switch from solid fats to healthy oils like olive and canola oil. Replace sugary drinks with water and choose fruit for dessert.
- Enjoy your foods but eat less: Avoid oversized portions. Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Cook more often at home where you are in control of what's in your food. When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
- Be physically active your way: Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week. Choose activities that you enjoy, and start by doing as much as you can.
Initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week" became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition. Additionally, to commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world, the second Wednesday of March has been designated "Registered Dietitian Day."
As part of this public education campaign, the Academy's National Nutrition Month website 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 "Get Your Plate in Shape" theme.
Have you considered what happens once a meth lab is shut down?
The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department will be partnering with the McDowell Hospital's Preschool Dental
Program to offer Free Dental Screenings to all children from 0-5 years of age.
Kids can enjoy plenty of Free Activities such as:
- Giant Inflatables
- Swimming in the YMCA Pool
- Healthy Snacks
- KidSenses Stuffee Program with two showings (10:00AM & 11:30AM)
- Meet SpongeBob SquarePants
- And much more
The Smile Day will be held at the Corpening Memorial YMCA in Marion on Thursday, March 1 from 9:30AM until 12:30PM.