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‘Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less’ program targets healthy living

 

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

Lincoln County residents are learning to increase healthy eating and exercise while decreasing their risk for chronic diseases.

“Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” is a 15-week program presented each year by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension in an effort to spread awareness about the importance of nutrition and physical activity. In addition, Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialists in Raleigh recently updated the program.

“People are beginning to realize that we must make changes in our diet,” Melinda Houser, family and consumer sciences’ extension agent, said.

Houser, who’s teaching the classes, said “all ages” need to exercise good health, especially today’s younger generations.

“Obesity is an epidemic throughout our state and country,” she said. “Research shows that the youth will not live as long as their parents or grandparents.”

Although some chronic diseases are hereditary, Houser noted that unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles can also contribute to certain long-term ailments.

“People eat mindless instead of mindful,” she said.

Program participants are encouraged to keep a daily log of exercise and food intake and also have a weekly weigh-in.

“This program is a self-management program,” Houser said.

In addition to menu planning and a power point discussion session, healthy food samples are served and individual blood pressures and body mass index calculations are taken, Houser said. Lincoln County School of Technology is also assisting with the program.

According to a Cooperative Extension press release, some past participants have noted a near 100-point decrease in blood pressure. Still others have reduced their weight and cholesterol.

“Each person takes charge and makes a lifelong commitment to improve their lifestyles by changing their diets,” Houser said.

For more information on the program, contact Melinda Houser at (704) 736-8461.

 

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