Friday, March 3, 2017

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – A staggering 94 percent of Franklin County’s approximately 150,000 residents do not consume the recommended three servings of vegetables, daily, according to the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment – the most recent survey conducted.

“This widespread deficiency and the implications of poor nutrition is one of the significant public health concerns we’re working to address, locally,” said Summit Health Vice President of Community Relations Barb Rossini. “Whole foods such as vegetables are the building blocks of good nutrition and health.”

In recognition of National Nutrition Month®, Summit Health is challenging community members during March to “Awaken Their Taste Buds” to nutritious foods and up the ante when it comes to vegetable intake – and making healthy, mindful food choices.

“It is our priority to not only take care of our residents when they need us, but to educate them and help them lead healthier lifestyles with lowered risks of chronic diseases like diabetes,” Rossini explained.

Data indicates that sensible changes made to diet coupled with increased physical activity helps prevent a range of health issues.

“Studies show that good nutrition and regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle can have a significant impact on prevention of diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke and some cancers,” said Certified Physician Assistant Melanie Reaser of Summit Primary Care – Philadelphia Avenue.”

Registered Dietitian Barb Van Meerbeke said improved physical and mental well-being is often a result of making nutrition a priority.

“When we eat nutrient-dense, whole foods like fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, our bodies feel better and function better because these are the foods intended to fuel them,” she explained.

Summit Health has planned free events and initiatives for all ages as part of its “Awaken Your Taste Buds” campaign for National Nutrition Month®, including several grocery store tours for children and a “Nutrition Know-How” weekly online quiz.

Grocery Store Tours will begin at 6 p.m.:

  • Tuesday, March 21 | Martin’s Food Market, 708 E. Main St., Waynesboro
  • Wednesday, March 22 | Giant Food Store, 397 Baltimore Road, Shippensburg
  • Monday, March 27 | Giant Food Store, 933 Wayne Ave., Chambersburg
  • Tuesday, March 28 | Shop & Save, 500 North Antrim Way, Greencastle
  • Thursday, March 30 | Food Lion, 431 Fort Loudon Road, Mercersburg

The grocery store tours are appropriate for children ages 8 to 12.

Each Wednesday in March, a nutrition-related question will be posted here. Participants can submit their answers and be entered into a random drawing to win one of five $20 gift cards. If they answer correctly, they will increase their chances of winning by receiving an additional entry.

For more information, to take part in the weekly quiz or for more resources on nutrition, click here.

The page also features a link to National Nutrition Month® games and quizzes on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website.

Summit Health’s campaign for National Nutrition Month® was designed in response to its 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment surveys, which identified nutrition as a critical area of need.

National Nutrition Month® is an initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information, visit: www.NationalNutritionMonth.org.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.