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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: December 3, 2013


The holidays are usually packed with big meals and bigger schedules with little time for a healthy meal or a workout. The Delaware Division of Public Health suggests giving the gift of a healthier New Year with fun and heart healthy gifts that encourage physical activity year-round.

"Everyone knows that exercise is good for them but did you know that physical activity is much more than going for a jog?" said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Delaware Public Health Director. "It can include taking a walk, kicking the soccer ball with your kids, dance classes, swimming and other fun activities. And it does not have to be done all at once. Breaking up physical activity throughout the day is just as healthy and easier with busy schedules."

DPH shares these gift suggestions for a healthier New Year and beyond:

Increasing physical activity reduces the risk for chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers, while improving mental health and wellness. The 5-2-1 Almost None campaign recommends that each day, children and adults eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables; engage in two hours or less of recreational screen time; participate in at least one hour of physical activity; and consume almost no sugar-sweetened beverages.

To prevent obesity in children, it is important for children to lead physically active lifestyles and not consume too many calories. Obese children are at increased risk for developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and many other conditions and diseases. Forty percent of Delaware children ages 2-17 years were overweight or obese in 2011, according to the Kids Count in Delaware Fact Book 2013.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.