Message to Pennsylvania Residents: Forgo Fad Dieting and Join the Campaign for Healthy Weight

Thursday, October 9, 2008 General News
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PITTSBURGH, Oct. 9 The last decade can be defined by theups and downs of different fad diets -- which seem to go in and out of fashionlike shoulder pads and hemlines. Yet, long-term success has been slim. Two outof three Americans -- including 57 percent of Pennsylvaniaresidents -- remain overweight or obese.

A new campaign crossing the country, the Campaign for Healthy Weight, israllying Americans behind the healthy weight cause, not just the politicalcandidates, and urging people to think more about their "health" instead ofsimply a number on the scale. Studies indicate that small, specific changes inphysical activity and calorie intake can make a big difference. And, peoplewho maintain a healthy weight are less likely to be at risk for weight-relatedhealth conditions, such as heart disease. The Campaign will make its stop inPittsburgh on October 11, 2008, to urge local residents to change their "diet"mindset and elect a new attitude.

"Health management is really starting to become a bigger part of weightmanagement," said Donna Allen, R.D. "The key is to make small, sustainablechanges that can last a lifetime. Drinking lowfat or fat free milk as a partof a healthy daily eating plan and walking more every day are two easyadjustments that can go a long way in supporting a healthy weight."

Weighing in on the American Diet

A new report called "Weighing in on the American Diet," found that thenumber of adults who say they are on a diet has steadily decreased over thepast decade. The study, conducted by The NPD Group in collaboration with theMilk Processor Education Program, found the majority of Americans say they areon a diet for their health and their weight; 68 percent say "feelinghealthier" is why they're dieting.

People who are watching their weight, however, are making less thanoptimal beverage choices. Coffee, soft drinks, teas, and juices are mostlikely filling their glasses and cups with milk being the fifth mostfrequently consumed beverage -- only 14 percent of all beverage occasions.Including milk on the menu appears to make a positive difference, though. Thereport found that adult dieters who made drinking lowfat or fat free milk adaily habit were more likely to have a healthy body mass index (BMI) withbetter quality diets richer in essential nutrients and were less likely tofeel deprived compared to dieters who didn't -- findings which are in linewith previous scientific studies.

Milk supplies two nutrients that along with physical activity areespecially important when cutting calories -- calcium to prevent bone loss andprotein to help build muscle mass. Studies suggest that drinking therecommended three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day along with ahealthy diet can help maintain a healthy weight. Researchers also found thatpeople with higher intakes of milk tend to be leaner and are less likely togain excess weight than those who drink little to no milk.

Milk -- The Beverage with Your Health Interests at Heart

People who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to be at risk forweight-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high bloodpressure and some types of cancer. In addition, some studies have linkedmeeting the recommendations for lowfat and fat free milk, along with eatingfruits and vegetables, to a lower risk for high blood pressure and heartdisease, as part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association 2007Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women emphasize eatingfresh fruits, vegetables and lowfat milk and milk products.

"I always encourage people to include three servings of lowfat or fat freemilk as part of a heart-healthy diet and to walk everyday," said Donna Allen,R.D. "With nine essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D,protein and potassium, milk is a great way to get a nutrient boost."

Pittsburgh Residents Pledge to Maintain a Healthy Weight

As part of milk's proud support for the American Heart Association'sStart! Heart Walks in cities across the country, the Campaign for HealthyWeight will set up headquarters at walk events nationwide to rally Americansto eat right, walk more and milk their diets. Participants at Pittsburgh'sStart! Heart Walk on October 11, 2008, who will already be taking stepstowards a healthier lifestyle, will be able to join thousands of otherAmericans who have taken a healthy weight pledge and voted for milk with theirupper lips.

While at the Start! Heart Walk, visitors can:

-- Join the Campaign and take the pledge to maintain a healthy weight in ahealthy way with milk

-- Sample heart-healthy lowfat or fat free milk from Dean Dairy Productsand Schneider's Dairy

-- Speak with local registered dietitian, Donna Allen, who can explain howsimple, lifelong steps can help maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart

-- Take the Campaign for Healthy Weight Quiz to see how their weightmanagement habits compare to those of their fellow Americans

-- Take a souvenir Milk Mustache photo

-- Enter for a chance to win a FREE trip to the 2009 AHA Start! Heart Walkin Hilo, Hawaii

To learn more about the Campaign for Healthy Weight and the findings fromthe Weighing in on the American Diet report, log onto visitors can take the healthy weight pledge, get tips on how to maintaina healthy weight and prevent unhealthy weight gain and find out if theirbeverage choices may be derailing their efforts.

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., isfunded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluidmilk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Mustache "gotmilk?" Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers aboutthe health benefits of milk. For more information, go to The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for theCalifornia Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and islicensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

SOURCE Milk Processor Education Program

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