Vermont’s First Annual “Everything Fit & Healthy Expo” Promotes Healthier Lifestyles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2005

CONTACT: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Governor Jim Douglas will solicit the advice of community members on how Vermonters can become fit and healthy at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center in Essex Junction, during a “Community Speak Out” at the “Everything Fit & Healthy Expo” on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“Obesity continues to be a serious public health concern in Vermont,” said Governor Douglas. “We need to address this issue as a community - with families, kids, seniors, health care practitioners, schools, state agencies and employers coming together to focus on developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles for Vermonters in the long-term.”

In Vermont, 26 percent of children in grades eight through twelve are overweight for their age and height and 55 percent of Vermont adults are overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity increases the prevalence for at least 15 chronic diseases, including: Type II diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

During the morning “Speak Out” Governor Douglas, Deputy Health Commissioner Sharon Moffett, RN, and State Senator Ginny Lyons will invite input from anyone who wants to offer suggestions or ask questions about Vermont programs already in place - such as the Governor’s Fit & Healthy Kids initiative. Fit & Health Kids, started in 2003, is a comprehensive approach to promoting healthy eating and increasing physical activity among children and their families.

Lewis First, M.D., chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, will host an afternoon “Community Speak Out” on Healthy Lifestyles beginning at 2 p.m. along with State Representative Malcolm Severance.

The one-day event, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include demonstrations of cooking nutritious food, health screenings, massage, strength training, a puppet show and Pilates.