Wildcat Connection August 2017 - Page 7


id you know that chronic disease is responsible for more than 70 percent of health care costs in Kansas? Yet, research shows that if Americans were to stop smoking, exercise regularly and eat well, they could prevent up to 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. That means that our choices DO Make A Difference!

During the past few weeks I have taken this message to several different audiences in Wildcat Extension District and discussed with participants some tools they can use to make more informed and healthful choices.

On June 28, I shared with employees of Kendall Packaging in Pittsburg and, using technology, employees at their sites in other parts of the U.S. joined in to hear the message as well. We discussed how to use the USDA Dietary Guidelines, MyPlate, and the standardized Nutrition Facts Label to help us make wiser choices.

Food choices and the tools we can use to make choices more wisely were also the topic of our most recent Lunch & Learn Session on July 12 at Labette Health in Parsons. We have been partnering with Labette Health to do these sessions which are open to Labette Health employees and are promoted to the general public as well. Labette Health provides the space and a wonderful free meal and Wildcat Extension District provides an educational program, handouts and door prizes. We have two more Thursday sessions scheduled this year: October 5 and December 7.

Some comments from participants at Labette Health included:

-I now plan to read labels more carefully and plan for a healthier plate appearance, more colorful.

-I learned a lot about sugar and fats.

-I plan to have smaller serving sizes and cut back on sugar substitutes. This was a valuable presentation for me.

Using the Nutrition Facts Label to make better snack choices was the topic of my July 24 presentation at the Girard Public Library where a participant wrote, “I learned more about nutrition and what the back of labels mean.”

Choices do make a difference. After all, our actual health care decisions aren’t made as much at our medical care facility as they are made wherever we make our food and physical activity choices.

Barbara Ames

Nutrition, Health,

and Food Safety

Spreading the Word...Our Choices Make a Difference!