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For Release: Aug. 30, 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Supports “Eating Better”
Celebrate “National Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month!”

In Oklahoma, 67 percent of adults and almost one in every three children are overweight or obese, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Chronic Disease Service.  In addition, Oklahoma ranks 50th, or last, in the consumption of fruits and vegetables according to “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011,” an annual report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This report notes that Oklahoma now ranks as the seventh most obese state in the nation.                                                                                                                                                                                      

To promote the need for Oklahomans to make healthier food choices and to eat more fruits and vegetables, Strong & Healthy Oklahoma supports  September as National Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month!  The OSDH and Strong & Healthy Oklahoma are encouraging all consumers to make a pledge to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables not only provide valuable nutrients to fight disease, but they are critical in the fight against obesity. Eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health, and can be a very inexpensive part of a healthy lifestyle.  Adding more to your diet is easy when you remember that all product forms count – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the My Plate initiative as a guide to healthy eating for the American public. My Plate encourages everyone to “make half your plate fruits and vegetables” as a way to increase health and control weight. For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is also a goal of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan and the Oklahoma Physical Activity & Nutrition Plan, both adopted by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

“Eating better means having more fruits and vegetables, a key message in both the Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Initiative and Oklahoma’s Shape Your Future Campaign,” said OSDH Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service Nutrition Consultant, Nancy Bacon. “Your mother was right when she said to eat your fruits and vegetables. Both provide key nutrients needed for good health, and can help reduce risks of having diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Try making a point to add one or two vegetables or fruits to your meals and/or snacks each day.  Fruits and veggies in season cost less and taste best!”

For simple tips on how to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, including recipes, nutrition information, tips for getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables, and even videos, visit www.ok.gov/strongandhealthy, as well as the Produce for Better Health Foundation website at www.pbhfoundation.org.    

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