"The key to a living a healthier life includes physical activity,
regular checkups and healthy eating. By making these smart choices
about your health, you can give yourself and your loved ones the
gift of a longer and healthier life," said Dr. Damon T. Arnold,
state public health director.
Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed April 5-11
as National Public Health Week in Illinois. This yearís theme for
National Public Health Week is "A Healthier America: One Community
at a Time." According to the American Public Health Association,
although we spend more on health care than any other nation, our
nation is falling behind in many important measures of what it means
to be healthy:
U.S. life expectancy has reached a record high of 78.1 years but
still ranks 46th -- behind Japan and most of Europe, as well as
countries such as Guam, South Korea and Jordan.
Weíre among the top 10 countries that have the most people with
HIV/AIDS, and it is estimated that one in 20 residents in the
nationís capital are HIV-positive.
Disparities persist, with ethnic minority populations having
nearly eight times the death rate for key health conditions, such as
diabetes, than that of non-minority populations.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,
physical activity is recommended for at least 2 1/2 hours every
Physical activity helps to:
Reduce high blood
Reduce risk for
Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and several forms of
pain and associated disability.
Reduce risk for
osteoporosis and falls.
Reduce symptoms of depression and
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The same diseases can also be brought
on by poor eating habits. According to the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, a healthy eating plan:
vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk
meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
Is low in saturated
fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Stays within your daily calorie needs.
"Staying active and eating healthy are important, but you also
need to make sure you go in for checkups," said Arnold. "Regular
health exams and tests can help find problems before they start.
They also can help find problems early, when your chances for
treatment and cure are better. Thatís why regular screenings and
treatments are the best steps you can take to help your chances for
living a longer, healthier life."
Illinois Department of Public Health
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]