Fulton County Health Services Encourages Residents to “Get Their Plate in Shape” | Print |

March is National Nutrition Month® when everyone is encouraged to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  According to the CDC, approximately 16% of all children in the United States are overweight. Citizens can fight obesity by making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  Fulton County Health Services encourages everyone to think about what goes on their plate or in their bowl.

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, children, teens and adults have diets deficient in dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium and potassium.  Food variety supplies different nutrients, so to maximize the nutritional value of your meal, include healthful choices when preparing your plate.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offer the following tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape”:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables - Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas
  • Make at least half your grains whole - Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk - Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essentials as whole milk; if 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
  • Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars - -Drink water instead of sugary drinks; look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy; limit food with high levels of saturated fats; switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food
  • Enjoy your food but eat less - Avoid oversized portions; cook more often at home; when eating out, choose lower calorie menu options; write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat; if you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly
  • Be physically active - Pick activities you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time

Overeating and not exercising can lead to unhealthy weight and disease. Eating a healthy variety of foods helps with body processes, growth and repairs cells, and provides energy. It is important to make healthy food choices all the time -- meals and snacks.

In recognition of National Nutrition Month, the Fulton County WIC and Nutrition Program sponsored a display board contest for WIC employees to design an exciting and educational display board for all county WIC offices.  The Neighborhood Union Health Center was chosen as the winner for the most interactive and informative billboard encouraging clients to make healthier choices.  The billboards can be viewed at the WIC offices located in each Fulton County health center.

For more information about nutrition and making healthy choices, log-on to www.eatright.org.  For health center locations, visit www.fultoncountygahealth.org.