Being Healthy is as easy as 5-4-3-2-1 Go! ®

54321_Exclamation_PointMarch is National Nutrition Month and the DuPage County Health Department s encouraging residents to live the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® lifestyle in order to be healthy and reduce the risk for obesity. Nationally, nearly 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. Kids who are overweight are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. Children who are overweight are also more likely to suffer psychological effects such as bullying and depression.  Fortunately, everyone can take steps toward leading a healthier lifestyle. The 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® message  was created for children ages 3-5 as an easy way to remember the goals to try and meet every day in order to be healthy, but this message also applies to anyone who is striving to live a healthy lifestyle.  The components of the health education message are: eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, drinking 4 glasses of water per day, eating 3 servings of low-fat dairy per day, getting 2 hours or less of screen time per day, and getting 1 hour or more of exercise every day. The 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® message was created by the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) and adopted by FORWARD, the Health Department’s obesity prevention initiative. Since adopting this message, FORWARD has distributed 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® posters, stickers, flyers, and magnets across DuPage County to raise awareness and  free 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® health education programs have been offered in daycares and schools across the county. For ideas and resources on how to use the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® message in your organizationor classroom, please visit [ http://www.forwarddupage.org ]www.forwarddupage.org. 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a registered trademark and Copyright © 2004 Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. All rights reserved. [ http://www.clocc.net ]www.clocc.net

Lead By Example

Scott427The  “A Year of Being Well” e-newsletter shared that leaders come in all shapes and sizes, ages, and races. Someone in your home must assume the role as leader and start the process of getting healthy or continue being an example for others. People learn best through the examples of others, so it’s important that as parents and role models we demonstrate good habits for our children.

 Kids will do what they see adults do.  If we simply preach about instilling healthy habits but we don’t practice good habits ourselves, we’ll never succeed in helping kids eat better, get more sleep, or get more physical activity.

 Being a positive role model means you have to break the unhealthy mold and make better choices for yourself, then teach your kids to do the same.  Just by drinking more water, eating a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, and staying active you can be someone’s hero!

Avoid Drowsy Driving and Arrive Alive

driverThe week of March 2-9 is National Sleep Awareness Week and the DuPage County Health Department is reminding County residents about the dangers of drowsy driving and why the proper amount of sleep is required to avoid accidents.

It is important to understand that driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans freely admit that they drive when they are sleepy, and with the upcoming time change on March 9, more Americans are apt to be sleep deprived due to one less hour of sleep that night.

The Health Department suggests that you stop driving if you exhibit these warning signs:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty keeping daydreams at bay Trouble keeping your head up
  •  Drifting from your lane, swerving or tailgating
  •  Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  •  Missing exits or traffic signs
  •  Yawning repeatedly
  •  Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive

 

Toddlers show progress in battle against obesity

Healthy SnackON February 26, 2014, Mike Stobbe, Associated Press wrote: Toddler obesity shrank sharply in the past decade, a new study suggests. While promising, it’s not proof that the nation has turned a corner in the battle against childhood obesity, some experts say.

The finding comes from a government study considered a gold-standard gauge of trends in the public’s health. The researchers found that obesity among children ages 2 to 5 decreased — to 8 percent, from 14 percent a decade ago. That would represent a 43 percent drop.

But the only decline was seen in preschoolers, not in older children. And some experts note that even the improvement in toddlers wasn’t a steady decline, and say it’s hard to know yet whether preschooler weight figures are permanently curving down or merely jumping around. Read more

February is Hearth Healthy Month

scaleThe Shaklee Corporation in its Health and Wellness Update has published several great article about how to keep your heath healthy.  The one below caught my eye and I thought it would a good article to share.

Weight Is a Heart Issue – What is being overweight?
Overweight and obesity are both defined by Body Mass Index or BMI (which is a ratio of weight to height). A BMI between 25 and 30 places someone in an overweight category and 30 or higher is considered obese.

 

Why control your weight?

The classifications of overweight and obese are not simply labels; there is a dramatic increase in the likelihood of disease as people increase their BMI, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Certain cancers
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

Even having a few extra pounds greatly increases the risk of heart disease.  In a 14 year study, it was shown that moderately overweight (not obese) individuals have an increased risk of heart disease. 50 percent for womeni and over 70 percent for menii

 

The cost of being overweight
Obesity itself is not what causes the harm; it is the diseases that are associated with obesity that cause the harm. The costs of these diseases and syndromes are enormous, and that doesn’t even begin to calculate the personal, physical, and emotional problems associated with increased BMI.

  • Obese people are expected to live 2-4 years less than someone with a healthy weight; the extremely obese (BMI over 40) have 8-10 years taken off their life expectancy. ii
  • More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are considered overweight and another one-third are obese.
  • The medical costs associated with obesity are estimated at over $150 billion dollars.
  • Obese people cost an average of $1,429 more in medical services per year than someone who is normal weight.

Read more

Get Pumped for Hearth Healthy Month

go-red-for-women-logoHeart Disease is now affecting more women than men and in general, heart attacks are more severe in women than in men.

Women should be aware that heart attack symptoms may be different than those experienced by men. Women tend to feel a burning sensation in their upper abdomen and may experience lightheadedness, an upset stomach, and sweating. Because they may not feel the typical pain in the left half of their chest, many women ignore their symptoms and do not even realize they are experiencing a heart attack.

In addition to being aware of common symptoms of a heart attack, women are encouraged to learn and take steps to help prevent heart disease altogether. Use these tips to lower your risk of suffering a heart attack:  Read more

Take Precaution When Shoveling

Shoveling Snow #2The looming winter storm projected for our area on Tuesday Feb. 4-Wednesday Feb. 5, could potentially leave behind many inches of the white stuff that is causing many of us to scream s-NOOOO-w! The DuPage County Health Department is reminding residents to take certain precautions when shoveling snow in order to stay safe and healthy.

When shoveling:

  •  Warm up your muscles. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity. Before you begin, warm up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise.
  •  Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care.
  •  Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Consider buying a shovel that is specially designed to prevent too much stooping. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
  •  When possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, take small amounts of snow, and lift it with your legs: Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift by straightening your legs, without bending at the waist. Then walk to where you want to dump the snow; holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine.

Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.

 

Bert and Ernie Are Speaking "Healthy!"

muffitMarilynn Marchione in an Associated Press article on January 24, 2014 shared that Bert and Ernie jump rope and munch apples and carrots, and Cookie Monster has his namesake treat once a week, not every day. Can a Muppets mini-makeover improve kids’ health, too?

A three-year experiment in South America suggests it can. Now, the Sesame Street project is coming to the United States.

Already, a test run in a New York City preschool has seen results: Four-year-old Jahmeice Strowder got her mom to make cauliflower for the first time in her life. A classmate, Bryson Payne, bugged his dad for a banana every morning and more salads. A parent brought home a loaf of bread instead of Doritos. Read more

Free Dental Screening on February 7, 2014

200245424-001The DuPage County Health Department’s dental clinic will be participating in the American Dental Association’s 12th annual “Give Kids A Smile Day” by offering free dental screenings to children aged 1-18 on Friday, February 7, 2014 from 9am-3:30pm.

The free dental screenings will be offered in the Health Department’s Smile Squad, a state of the art mobile dental clinic that travels throughout DuPage County serving children who need dental services.

This event will take place at two locations in the county:

DuPage Children’s Museum-301 N. Washington St. Naperville

DuPage County Health Department-111 N. County Farm Rd. Wheaton

Patients who receive free services at the Children’s Museum location will also receive a coupon to enjoy the museum after their screening or at a later date. (good for one adult admission with one paid child admission).

This event is part of the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States.