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Get your plate in shape | Health

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Get your plate in shape
Get your plate in shape

Coalition Educates Children, Adults on What, When and How to eat to be Healthy, Combat Obesity

LITTLE ROCK, AR (Feb. 28, 2012) – March is National Nutrition Month® and a good time to “Get Your Plate in Shape.” Arkansas was named the ninth most obese state in the country, according to the eighth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition, nearly one-third of our state’s adults – 30.6 percent – are obese.

While these statistics are staggering, they represent only part of the health problem in Arkansas.  Obesity is a primary contributor to serious chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.  According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 53 percent of Arkansas adults are living with at least one chronic disease.  

Eating healthier and being more active can help prevent these chronic illnesses. The Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) wants to help Arkansans “Get Their Plates in Shape” during National Nutrition Month® this March. 

Get Your Plate in Shape is an initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to show what kinds and how much of each food group should make up a healthy plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Half of every plate should be made up of fruits and vegetables, and at least half of all grains you consume should be whole grain. Other tips to follow to Get Your Plate in Shape are to switch to fat-free or low-fat milk; vary protein from meat to beans, nuts, fish, poultry and eggs; reduce sodium; reduce calories from fats and sugars; eat smaller portions and enjoy every bite; and be physically active most days of the week by doing something you enjoy – playing, dancing, walking, gardening, etc.

“National Nutrition Month is a great time to recognize the importance of healthy eating for obesity prevention,” said Dr. Joe Thompson, Arkansas Surgeon General and Director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. “Obesity is a true epidemic, one that every family is susceptible to. Simply put, too many of us are consuming more calories than we burn. Let’s restore ‘energy balance’ in our lives. Starting this month, do something physically active every day, give up sodas for the month and take concrete steps toward a healthier diet. The USDA My Plate is an easy guide families can use to help make healthy nutrition choices.”


For more information:


Ideas for getting your plate in shape: www.choosemyplate.gov


National Nutrition Month and how to get your plate in shape: www.eatright.org


The Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) is a volunteer organization made up of individuals from a diverse group of organizations who share a mission to improve the health of all Arkansas communities by increasing physical activity and healthy eating to reduce and prevent obesity. For more information, visit www.arkansasobesity.org.