Eating healthier foods is one of the baby steps Healthy Lucas County wants everyone to take during National Nutrition Month – and all year long. After all, just 4% of Lucas County adults and 6% of youth eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the amount recommended to be healthy, according to Healthy Lucas County’s 2016/2017 Lucas County Community Health Assessment.
Meanwhile, 19% of Lucas County adults and 13% of youth are obese, according to the health assessment. Obesity is a risk factor for numerous chronic conditions and other health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate dietary guidelines recommend that Americans:
- Focus on variety, amount and nutrition. Make food and beverage choices from all five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy – to get needed nutrients.
- Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Compare nutrition facts and ingredient lists on labels.
- Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, make half your grains whole grains, consume low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and vary protein foods.
Nutrition in Lucas County
In Lucas County, 77% of adults reported no barriers to consuming fruits and vegetables, according to the health assessment. But 14% reported fruits and vegetables are too expensive, while other barriers to consuming them included not liking the taste (6%), not knowing how to prepare them (3%) and having no access (2%).
Healthy Lucas County’s chronic disease prevention and management team has worked to put more produce in neighborhood stores. Visit this web page for more information and a map of where Eat Fresh, Live Well stores are located.
The following infographic has more information about obesity in Lucas County.