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Steps to a HealthierNY Give Me 5 Campaign Expands to Rural School Districts

BINGHAMTON, NY - The Broome County Health Department's Steps to a HealthierNY initiative is expanding its Give Me 5 campaign to include two rural school districts, Deposit and Harpursville. Their Food Service Directors, along with those from the Binghamton, Johnson City, and Union Endicott school districts, will join the Broome County Health Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, and the Rural Health Network of the Southern Tier in promoting the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) message "eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day for better health" to elementary students.

According to the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), only 30% of Broome County residents report eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Research indicates that diets that are low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, some types of cancer, and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

The goal of the Give Me 5 campaign is to increase children's consumption of fruits and vegetables by building awareness through creative educational venues and by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables at meal times and at before and after school programs.

Campaign promotions will take place throughout the week of June 6-10. The following events will kickoff the campaign at Deposit and Harpursville elementary schools on June 6, 2005:

  • During morning announcements, designated students in the elementary schools will have the opportunity to tell humorous and entertaining fruit and vegetable riddles and jokes to make the campaign light hearted and fun, yet still a good learning experience.
  • A variety of colorful New York State grown and harvested fruits and vegetables will be served to the students during lunch.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will host a student hands-on activity table in the school's cafeterias where they will have an opportunity to learn about fruits and vegetables.
  • The school's cafeterias will be decorated with Give Me 5 and 5 A Day posters and balloons.
  • During lunch time staff from the Broome County Health Department and Rural Health Network of the Southern Tier will be costumed in fruit and vegetable attire circulating among the students, educating them, and adding to the fun.

Steps to a HealthierNY is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of Steps to a HealthierUS, a national program focusing on the prevention of diabetes, obesity and asthma and the control of risk factors including poor nutrition, physical inactivity and tobacco use and exposure. For more information about the Steps to a HealthierNY, please visit www.goBroomeCounty.com or call 607.778.3929.

Steps to a HealthierUS is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative advancing the HealthierUS goal to help Americans live longer, better and healthier lives. This initiative will reduce the burden of chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and asthma and the control of risk factors including poor nutrition, physical inactivity and tobacco use and exposure through funding of community-based interventions. www.healthierus.gov/steps.

05/14/2005 - 1:45pm