Southeastern Regional Medical Center and Community Health Services’ Project H.E.A.L.T.H. — Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Tomorrow’s Health — offer plenty of opportunities for eating healthy, being active and having fun. SRMC is the sponsor for the Family Fun Mile, held in conjunction with the Chevy to the Levee event next Saturday.
In an effort to Go Green, registration will be the day of race only and parents are asked to be present with minor children. The first 300 kindergarten through eighth-grade students who register will be eligible to receive a free T-shirt. So register early. All kindergarten through eighth-grade students will be given a gold coin token to pick up “goodies” at the Healthy Snack booth after completing the mile. Participants can walk, run, hop or skip along the fun mile race course and cross the finish line for bottled water and a medal. Last year, more than 200 adults and children participated in the event.
Healthy snacks will be available for purchase at SRMC’s Green Team booth, which will offer water, apples and Sun Chips for 25 cents for those who need a little energy food before or after the race. All proceeds will be donated to this year’s beneficiary, the Robeson County Boys and Girls Club.
The SRMC Family Fun Mile began as an initiative to reduce childhood obesity and chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes, which was considered an adult onset disease, however about 3,700 youths are diagnosed each year with this disease. Risk factors for Type II diabetes include lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits and being overweight. This event continues to bring children, youth and families together in an effort to show how easy and fun it is to eat healthy and be active.
What can parents do to help their children reduce their risks for chronic disease and become healthier? A few simple changes like adding daily physical activity, eating fruits and vegetables (at least five per day), whole grains and drinking water instead of sugary drinks can add up to improved health and lower risk for chronic diseases. But more importantly, parents and guardians can be healthy role models for their children.
The new MyPlate icon, which replaces the Food Pyramid, is a useful tool to help people eat well and improve their health through the use of easy-to-understand messages and assistance from registered dietitians. MyPlate is a plate divided into four sections that each represent a different type of food (protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables). A circle shape next to the plate represents dairy products like milk and yogurt. For information and tips on healthy eating check out www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and www.choosemyplate.gov.
Please join in the fun on Saturday at Luther Britt Park. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and registration is open from 9 to 10:45 a.m. The SRMC Family Fun Mile starts at 11 a.m. so don’t be late.
— Diane Zepaltas is the Project HEALTH Coordinator for Southeastern Regional Medical Center.