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Prevention is Key for a Healthier Tennessee

Friday, March 30, 2012 | 09:49am

National Public Health Week is April 2-8, 2012

NASHVILLE – The Department of Health is reminding Tennesseans of the importance of prevention in the effort to achieve optimal health and wellness. TDH will take part in observances of National Public Health Week April 2-8, 2012. The theme this year is “A Healthier America Begins Today.”

“All of us need to take an active role in striving for better health for ourselves, our families, our communities and our state,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Thousands of Tennesseans struggle with health issues like heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes and the aftermath of injuries that can often be prevented with healthy choices about what we eat, how active we are, wearing seatbelts and bike helmets and avoiding things like tobacco and dangerous drugs. The right choices for prevention are high return investments in having happier, more prosperous and longer, healthier lives.”

There are simple steps everyone can take to improve our personal health and help prevent ill health:
• Healthy eating – add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals, and pay attention to portion sizes. Follow the guidelines at www.choosemyplate.gov.
• Physical activity – challenge yourself to add more activity to your daily life. Find recommendations and tips for starting a fitness plan at www.getfittn.com.
• Tobacco use – the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine provides free assistance to any Tennessean who wants to quit smoking or using other tobacco products. Start your quit plan today by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting www.tnquitline.com.
• Alcohol use – excessive alcohol use causes approximately 79,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more about the impact of alcohol use on your health at www.cdc.gov/alcohol/index.htm. If you need help to combat excessive alcohol use, visit Alcoholics Anonymous at www.aa.org.

“Think about it,” said Dreyzehner. “What two or three things can you do, starting today, to invest in your health? Maybe it’s using the stairs, taking a regular walk with a companion, switching from whole milk to two percent or skim, or quitting smoking. Every one of us can make these kinds of investments and they do, they absolutely do, pay off.”

Along with prevention and wellness, focus areas for this year’s National Public Health Week observances include drug use prevention; prevention of communicable diseases and mental and emotional well-being. Local events are planned for communities across Tennessee to celebrate National Public Health Week and share the message that “A Healthier Tennessee Begins Today.” Find a calendar of events online at http://health.state.tn.us/PHW/PHWcalendar.shtml. To submit an event to the calendar, use the form at http://health.state.tn.us/PHW/PHWeventsform.shtml.

The Tennessee Department of Health works every day in every county to protect promote and improve the health and prosperity people in Tennessee. For more information on National Public Health Week activities in your community, contact your local county health department. A list of Tennessee’s health departments is available at http://health.state.tn.us/localdepartments.htm.

National Public Health Week is sponsored by the American Public Health Association, with the goal of making the United States the healthiest nation in one generation. Learn more at www.nphw.org.

Health | Press Releases