Food Day locally expands healthy options, curbs consumption of junk food
Thursday, October 20, 2011
National Food Day is October 24
KING COUNTY, WA -- Food Day in King County is bringing together people from all walks of life -- parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and people who enjoy good food -- to push for healthy, affordable and sustainable foods.
"Local organizations, schools, leaders and residents are mobilizing for Food Day to expand access to healthy food and curb access to junk food," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer of Public Health - Seattle & King County and a member of the national advisory board for Food Day. "We are aiming for long-term improvements so all of our residents have access to healthy options and ultimately good health."
Among the Food Day activities planned in King County:
- The King County Board of Health will consider a Food Day resolution at its meeting this Friday. The resolution focuses on the healthy food access provided through WIC nutrition program for women, infants and children, as well as the critical link Maternity Support Services (MSS) provides in connecting high risk pregnant women with WIC and other services. Together, these important programs link tens of thousands of the most vulnerable mothers and children to healthy food and critical nutrition education.
- The media and public are invited to tour a farm and meet farmers at the Seattle Tilth Farm Works open house on Saturday, October 22, 10-11:30 a.m. in Auburn. This project, supported by Communities Putting Prevention to Work, supports refugees, immigrants and other low-income families to create small farming businesses.
- The Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and they will hold an event at the Downtown Seattle Y on Monday, October 24, from 5 to 8 p.m., asking people to take the Soda Free Sundays pledge.
- Public Health will host WIC nutrition/cooking classes in Public Health centers, an Access and Outreach table at Crossroads Mall featuring the WIC and Basic Food Breastfeeding Program, and SNAC nutrition/cooking classes in schools.
For more information about Food Day in King County, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/health/foodday. For information about national Food Day and other events locally and around the country, visit: www.foodday.org.
King County has made important progress with declining cardio-vascular disease mortality and leveling of the obesity rate. However, challenges remain, including increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing rates of hypertension and high blood cholesterol.
Among King County's 8th grade and high school youth, 21% are obese and overweight, and 10% drank two or more sodas on the day before they were surveyed.
Some parts of the county, such as portions of Seattle and south King County, are especially affected. In these areas, students are more likely to have a fast food restaurant within a half mile of their school compared to students in the rest of the county and are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Additionally, 17 food deserts have been identified in King County, which are low-income areas with poor access to a supermarket or large grocery store.
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 1.9 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health - Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.