Tuesday, April 7, 2009

U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services Releases Public Service Announcements To Encourage Healthy Lifestyles

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Surgeon General released two public service announcements, in English, "Take the Lead" and in Spanish, "Mi Cocina," on childhood overweight and obesity prevention. Both PSAs encourage families to be physically active and eat healthy foods. The PSAs were released on the first day of National Public Health Week, which is April 6 - 12, 2009. The Office of the Surgeon General is disseminating the PSAs as part of its ‘Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future’ public information initiative. The new PSAs encourage adults to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles to improve their personal health and set an example for children to follow. More than 12.5 million children and adolescents -- 17.1 percent of people ages 2 to 19 years -- are overweight. ‘Early intervention against overweight and obesity is crucial,’ said Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. ‘This is because children learn lifelong eating and activity habits at a young age.’ As they grow older, overweight children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes. ‘To ensure a healthy future for America's children we must help kids get the recommended 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity,’ Dr. Galson said. ‘Using family time to help children develop good habits will benefit them now and throughout their lives.’ The National Public Health Information Coalition, an independent organization dedicated to improving America's health through public health communications, will help distribute the PSAs to health departments nationwide and promote posting the announcements to the departments' Web sites. The PSAs will be featured beginning on Washington DC's W USA 9 as part of its Lighten Up Campaign, a partnership between Children's National Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. and W*USA 9, that brings attention to childhood obesity. In addition, the PSAs will be highlighted by Weight Watchers.”


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