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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: July 23, 2013


(Dover, DE) - The Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL), in collaboration with the Division of Public Health, will raffle off two bikes and helmets at the Delaware State Fair's Health Fair for Kids on Tuesday, July 23. DE HEAL and DPH's Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention (PANO) program promote children's overall health, especially increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.

Advanced Sports International contributed two 20-inch Fuji bikes for 10- to 12-year-olds: a pink Princess Anari bike and a red Fazer bike, with matching helmets. The bike raffle begins at 9:00 a.m. and the drawing will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Delaware Electric Cooperative Free Entertainment Tent across from the Midway entrance. Children only may enter after they play a game about bike safety and physical activity. Winners do not need to be present. Winners will be contacted by 5:00 p.m. July 23, 2013.

"Bicycling is a wonderful way to increase physical activity, burn calories and tone muscles," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl T. Rattay. "Cycling is recommended for persons of all ages, and presents opportunities for family time."

The bike raffle continues a statewide campaign aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity among Delaware's children and adolescents. Increasing physical activity reduces the risk for chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers, while improving mental health and wellness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded DPH a State Public Health Actions grant to increase consumption of nutritious foods and beverages and increase physical activity across the lifespan. DPH is committed to spreading this message, such as through the 5-2-1-Almost None campaign. 5-2-1-Almost None encourages children and adults to 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.

Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity. More than one-third of Delaware's children are at an unhealthy weight. According to Kids Count 2011, childhood obesity affects 38.8 percent of children age 2-5 years, 43.1 percent of children age 6-11 years, and 37.7 percent of children age 12-17 years of age.

The National Physical Activity Plan recommends developing partnerships with other sectors, including private organizations, to provide links and resources for youth in schools and communities. The parks, recreation, fitness and sports sectors have considerable capacity to encourage increased physical activity. Connecting with the outdoors promotes physical and emotional health.

"Cycling is a viable solution for the many issues facing American youth today," said Patrick Cunnane, chief executive officer of Advanced Sports International. "The sooner we get kids riding to school, to their friends' houses and for fun, the more likely they are to form healthy lifestyle habits with lasting environmental impact."

Cycling can be lots of fun but safety should always be the first priority. Follow these safety tips:

For more information, call DPH's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Section at 302-744-1010.

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.