Extension’s efforts are to improve health, wellness

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Many of extension’s efforts to improve health and wellness are focusing on obesity, the state’s number one health problem, which is directly related to a number of chronic conditions. Special emphasis is on reversing the trend of childhood obesity. We in Extension are working to help you. The following are programs that we are eager to offer. We can present these programs to groups of 5 or more people at one time. It can be a church group, after-school group, community group, a sorority, or individuals looking for help to improve their lives. If you are interested in starting a program please call me at Escambia County Extension Office at (251) 867-7760. The programs are:

• The “DEEP” (Diabetes Education Empowerment Program). A 6 week educational curriculum designed to engage community residents in self- management practices for prevention and control of diabetes. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, or have had diabetes for years. DEEP can help you take charge of your health. These classes are designed to educate on how to best control blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; empower you to establish relationships with your primary care provider; encourage better nutrition and regular exercise; encourage lifestyle changes that lead to the reduction in the number of diabetes complications (heart disease, blindness, nerve damage, etc.) and limb amputations; and express the importance of developing support networks of family, friends and existing community-based social services. Cost-Free

• Eat Healthy Be Active Community workshop is a series program based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines deals with many nutrition and physical activity principals. The six sessions will discuss making healthy choices, reading the nutrition facts label, how to make quick healthy meals, how to lose weight and keep it off and other essential topics. An exercise component has been added. The cost is free.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

• The right bite diabetes cooking school. The right bite diabetes cooking school was designed to show people how to enjoy consuming healthy food. Through hands-on experiences the group will prepare delicious meals and snacks to control and prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases. Through four, two-hours sessions, this series covers information on portion control; reading labels; uses of sweeteners; selecting healthier food at the store and preparing recipes lower in fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Cost is $10.

• Color me healthy works with day care providers to train the trainer. This program has songs, and monthly newsletter for parents. The developers of a children’s nutrition and physical activity program are hoping to encourage children to develop healthy lifestyles and eat a rainbow of benefits. Color me healthy (CMH) is a research-tested intervention designed to improve fruit and vegetable intake and increase physical activity among 4 and 5 year olds. Cost is free.

• Rethink your drink exhibit – An effort to help decrease obesity by recognizing the consumption of sugar in beverages.