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

Thursday, October 23, 2008 General News
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RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 23 The last decade can be defined bythe ups and downs of different fad diets -- which seem to go in and out offashion like shoulder pads and hemlines. Yet, long-term success has beenslim. Two out of three Americans -- including 25 percent of Virginiaresidents -- 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 changesin physical activity and calorie intake can make a big difference. And,people who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to be at risk forweight-related health conditions, such as heart disease. The Campaign willmake its stop in Richmond on Saturday, October 25th, to urge local residentsto change their "diet" mindset and elect a new attitude.

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 most likelyfilling their glasses and cups with milk being the fifth most frequentlyconsumed beverage -- only 14 percent of all beverage occasions. Includingmilk on the menu appears to make a positive difference. The report found thatadult dieters who made drinking lowfat or fat free milk a daily habit weremore likely to have a healthy body mass index (BMI) with better quality dietsricher in essential nutrients and were less likely to feel deprived comparedto dieters who didn't -- findings which are in line with previous scientificstudies.

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 have foundthat people with higher intakes of milk tend to be leaner and are less likelyto gain 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.

Richmond Pledges 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 the RichmondStart! Heart Walk on Saturday, October 25th, 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.

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.While at the Start! Heart Walk, visitors can: -- Join the Campaign and take the pledge to maintain a healthy weight in a healthy way with milk -- Sample heart-healthy lowfat or fat free milk from local processors -- Speak with a registered dietitian who can explain how simple, lifelong steps can help maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart -- Take the Campaign for Healthy Weight Quiz to see how their weight management habits compare to those of their fellow Americans -- Take a souvenir Milk Mustache photo and receive a complimentary two-week Curves membership to help them to continue to be active -- Enter for a chance to win a FREE trip to the 2009 AHA Start! Heart Walk in Hilo, Hawaii

SOURCE The Milk Processor Education Program

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