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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: January 9, 2014


DOVER (Jan. 7, 2014) - Does your list of New Year's resolutions seem as long as your holiday "to do" list? To make a healthier you in 2014, take it one day at a time with encouragement and ideas from the "31 Days to a Healthier You" social media campaign from Delaware Health and Social Services' (DHSS) Division of Public Health. Started in 2013, the second year of the social media campaign offers even more videos, tips, photos, how-to videos and contact information, all using the Twitter hashtag #healthDE, to start your New Year right.

"Whether it's getting enough exercise or making good choices about what we eat, we all know it's easier to start and maintain good habits with support from family, friends and colleagues," said Governor Jack Markell. "This campaign offers simple strategies we can all benefit from and uses social media to share experiences as well as encourage others to make healthier choices."

"When it comes to your health, making small lifestyle changes can bring big rewards for you and for your family," DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "Our social media campaign will give you plenty of ideas for being more physically active, making healthier food choices, quitting smoking or getting regular medical screenings. You choose what will help you, and then encourage your family and friends to do the same. Together, we can build habits that will lead to a healthier Delaware."

Each week in January will feature a different topic with tips on healthy living; from exercise to healthy eating to tobacco cessation to disease prevention, to health screenings, to immunizations and more.

The second year of the campaign has a new twist-now that health insurance is available for the vast majority of Americans, a healthier you in 2014 is more possible than ever before. Under the Affordable Care Act, Delawareans now have access to free health screenings (like mammograms, blood pressure checks and autism screening for toddlers) and prevention opportunities (like free immunizations, nutrition counseling and more). To learn about Delaware's health insurance marketplace, go to To learn about preventive benefits, visit and search for "prevention."

"Taking small but important health steps can be life-changing," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "The Healthier You campaign is not about saying 'make a massive lifestyle change' but instead focuses on the small things you can do, right now, today."

Rattay offered several suggestions:

  1. Re-thinking your drink to sugarless drinks can lead to a weight loss of up to 15 pounds in one year.
  2. People at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease's onset by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. Delawareans who lose weight might also lower their blood pressure, lower their cholesterol, and lessen pressure on their joints.
  3. DPH recommends the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eating at least five servings of fruit or vegetables a day, watching no more than two hours of recreational screen time daily, getting one hour of physical activity each day, and drinking almost no sugar-sweetened drinks. Becoming more physically active reduces the chance of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Most people feel better after taking a brisk walk or run, or participating in another activity such as ice skating, swimming or working out.
  4. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly and being aware of your recommended waist circumference can reduce the possibility of a heart attack or stroke. An ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80. The goal for waist size is less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men. (For Asians, the waist size goal is 32 inches for women and 35 inches for men.) Persons with results outside these ranges are considered at risk and should visit their healthcare provider. Visit the Million Hearts® Delaware partnership ( to learn how to prevent heart disease and stroke by being physically active, managing weight and cholesterol, limiting sodium and trans fat, controlling blood pressure, and avoiding or reducing tobacco use.

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.