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Start your new year off right

By Staff
Resolve to make changes for good health
New Year's is a time when many people resolve to make changes for the better in their life. There is no resolution more important than eating healthier and smarter to ensure weight loss and good health. This year why not make it a family project and start a Family New Year's resolution.
Obesity has become an alarming problem nationwide, in addition to heart disease and diabetes. The problems are not limited to adults either. American children are becoming equally overweight resulting in increases in such conditions as asthma and type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthier diet can help you and your family decrease the risks of having any of these health related problems.
Families can began the process of living healthier this year by making a joint resolution to change their lifestyles. With the entire family involved, each member can help support one another and encourage each other to stick to the resolution.
Less than 56 percent of Americans over the age of 2 are meeting the four of the five Food Guide Pyramid recommendations of grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats. Americans also do not maintain enough physical activity. And less than one-third of adults meet the federal recommendations of engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week. Children engage in minimal exercise also, spending more time instead watching television and playing video games.
It's important to make changes one at a time to avoid frustration. Focus on important but small changes that will add positive benefits. With family support the changes will soon become a healthy way of life. The following tips can help your family maintain a healthier lifestyle during the New Year:
For more information on nutrition and physical activity, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health's Web site at