A survey of teens by the Ohio Department of Health found that 83% wear seat belts but only 7.2% eat fruits and vegetables at least twice daily. The 2011 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey also showed that 30% of teens reported a height and weight that was in the overweight or obese range.
Following a Mediterranean-style diet provides heart benefits even if people do not lose weight, say Johns Hopkins University researchers who compared diets rich in carbohydrates, protein or unsaturated fats. The study found the unsaturated-fats diet was best at promoting insulin use, which may help prevent diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease.
Phoenix-area farmers markets offer seasonal produce and hold special programs on healthy cooking and canning foods as well as classes for children that teach about plants and animals. Oncology dietitian Terri Taylor says that when selecting fresh fruits and vegetables, shoppers should look for intense color, a sign that foods contain more of the protective phytochemicals that promote health.
Dietitian and diabetes educator Marcia Foreman says some people get blindsided by a diabetes diagnosis because they did not know they were at risk or how to prevent the condition through diet and exercise. Foreman has developed an annual diabetes event into the World Diabetes Day expo in Abbotsford, British Columbia, which includes a trade show, speakers and support for people with the disease.
A YMCA charter school in Venice, Fla., requires middle-school students to take two physical-education classes each day. SKY Academy provides each student with a Y membership, and exercise and health issues are woven into the curriculum. The cafeteria also features a healthy menu focused on whole foods, with no soda, hydrogenated fats or high-fructose corn syrup.