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FOR RELEASE: March 26, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Eighth Annual State of the State’s Health Report Released Today
A Lifetime of Prevention Urged for Oklahomans

“Prevention is key to improving the health of all Oklahomans…” so begins the eighth annual State of the State’s Health Report, released today by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

The 2004 report, “A Lifetime of Prevention,” notes that some positive trends have occurred in the past year in Oklahoma’s health status, due largely to health improvement initiatives and community-health partnerships, such as the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative. These improvements include a decline in prevalence of smoking, reduced cases of infectious diseases, and progress in reducing infant mortality.

For the first time, the report includes a State of the State’s Health Report Card, which charts Oklahoma’s current status in a variety of health issues, and points out challenges that remain for improvement.

The Board of Health targeted seven health priority areas in this year’s report, and provided suggestions for health improvement as noted below.

Nutrition and Obesity

  • Reduce fat intake.
  • Increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
  • Choose sensible food portions, include more than two servings of fruit per day and thee servings of vegetables per day.

Physical Activity and Fitness

  • Change community environments to encourage physical activity, e.g., add sidewalks to residential developments.
  • Consider adding moderate physical activities such as walking, swimming, bicycling, or tennis to your daily routine.

Tobacco Use Prevention

  • Increase Oklahoma’s tax on tobacco to at least one dollar per pack.
  • Expand evidence-based and proven prevention efforts for youth.
  • Increase cessation opportunities for Oklahomans who want to kick their nicotine addiction.

Injury and Violence Prevention

  • Use helmets when riding bicycles and motorcycles.
  • Install smoke alarms.
  • Implement measures to prevent suicide and homicide.

Immunization and Infectious Disease

  • Keep children’s immunizations current.
  • Check with your physician about receiving influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations, especially if you are over 50 and have a chronic health problem like asthma.

Planning for Healthy Families

  • Continue to support and expand programs that encourage healthy families, including services to assure healthy pregnancy outcomes, improved child health development and programs that provide guidance to strengthen families.

Public Health Systems Development

  • Support increased resources for Focus on prevention through a well-funded public health system that will focus on prevention and improve the health of Oklahomans and enhance their quality of life.

The State of the State’s Health Report can be found on the Web at http://www.health.state.ok.us/board/state.

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