Archive for April, 2011

Turn off Screens

April 18th, 2011

We are proud to endorse @ScreenFreeWeek. On April 18-24, turn off screens and turn on life!

Food Handling Myths

April 15th, 2011

Next week is Screen-Free Week

April 15th, 2011

The Martin County Health Department is proud to be an official endorser of Screen-Free Week (April 18-24), the annual celebration where children, families, schools, and communities turn off screens and turn on life.  Please visit to learn how you can get involved and join in the fun.

We all know that children spend far too much time with screens: an astonishing average of 32 hours a week for preschoolers and even more for older children.  Excessive screen time is harmful for children—it’s linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problem, and the erosion of creative play.

Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is a wonderful way to help children lead healthier, happier lives by reducing dependence on entertainment screen media—including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices.  By encouraging children and families to unplug, Screen-Free Week provides time for them to play, connect with nature, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends.

Alcohol Use: Conversation starters

April 11th, 2011

It takes courage to talk to a family member or friend about her drinking. Use these tips to help you get started.

Be honest about how you feel.

“I worry about your health. Drinking too much puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and liver problems.”

“Your drinking is affecting our relationship.”

Offer tips on how to cut back or quit.

Here are some ideas that you can suggest:

“Set a drinking limit. Stick to your limit by writing down every drink.”

“Let’s take a night or two off from drinking each week.”

“Stay away from bars or other places that make you want to drink.”

“If you are having trouble sticking to your limits, consider joining a support group or talking to a doctor.”

Support a change.

“Tell me when you are upset and want a drink. We can go for a walk and talk instead.”

“Let’s enjoy activities that don’t involve drinking – like seeing a movie or working in the garden.”

“How else can I support you?”

For more information about cutting back on alcohol, visit:

Myth: The stand time recommended for microwaveable foods is optional, it’s just so you don’t burn yourself.

April 8th, 2011

Myth:  The stand time recommended for microwaveable foods is optional, it’s just so you don’t burn yourself.

Fact:  Stand time is not about cooling the microwaved food, but rather is an important part of the cooking process.  Stand times are usually just a few minutes and the time is necessary to bring the food to a safe internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. To ensure safety with microwave cooking, always read and follow package instructions, know your microwave’s wattage, and use a food thermometer to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature.

Current Cigarette Use Continues to Decrease Among U.S. 12thGraders

April 6th, 2011

Current Cigarette Use Continues to Decrease Among U.S. 12thGraders;

Decrease in Use Among 8thand 10thGrade Students May Have Stalled

Current cigarette use among high school seniors continues to decrease, according to data from the 2010 Monitoring the Future study. In 2010, 19% of 12thgrade students reported smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from the most recent peak of 37% in 1997. Current prevalence rates of cigarette use among 8th(7%) and 10th(14%) graders are also far below their peak rates. However, smoking rates among these younger students appear to have leveled off in recent years, suggesting that the decrease that began in 1997 may have stalled (see figure below). The authors note that while these long-term decreases in smoking are encouraging, “there are still significant proportions of teens putting themselves at risk for a host of serious diseases and premature death because they are taking up cigarette smoking” (p. 2).


CESAR FAX 20-06 (Cigarette Use Among 8th 10th and 12th Graders)


SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from University of Michigan, “Smoking Stops Declining and Shows Signs of Increasing Among Younger Teens,” Press Release, 12/14/2010. Available online at

A Diabetes Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy

April 5th, 2011

A Diabetes Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy

by the National Diabetes Education Program

Knowing what to serve and eat for dinner can sometimes be a challenge – especially for people with diabetes. While eating healthy foods is important for everyone, it’s essential for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that results in high glucose, or sugar levels in the blood, which can lead to serious complications. For the 25.8 million people with diabetes in this country, making healthy food choices and being physically active is crucial to managing their diabetes.

Whether you are a person with diabetes or a family member or friend, you can prepare a meal that is healthy and tastes great. Look for recipes that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Experiment with recipes that include fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk and cheese. Other healthy ingredients are foods high in fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta. To give an example of what to serve as a healthy meal, the National Diabetes Education Program suggests a recipe, along with other foods to complete the meal, that everyone can enjoy—whether you have diabetes or not.

What’s For Dinner?

When planning a meal, start with a salad appetizer. Baby spinach leaves with seasonal fresh vegetables or fruits like sugar snap peas or sliced pears go nicely with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing. For the main course, stick with lean meats or fish. Below you’ll find a recipe for baked salmon. Designed to serve six people, it takes about half an hour to prepare. Nutrition information, including carbohydrate grams, is provided.

Entree: Baked Salmon Dijon*


1 C fat-free sour cream

2 tsp dried dill

3 Tbsp finely chopped scallions

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ lb salmon fillet with skin (cut in center)

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp black pepper

Fat-free cooking spray as needed

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Whisk sour cream, dill, onion, mustard, and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Lightly oil baking sheet with cooking spray. Place salmon, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper, then spread with the sauce. Bake salmon until just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 196, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 229 mg, Fiber less than 1 g, Protein 27 g, Carbohydrates 5 g

* Recipe taken from Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

A great side dish to serve with salmon is brown rice. Cook the rice with garlic, ginger, or green onions to give it more flavor. For dessert, serve a selection of fresh fruits of the season or a small scoop of fat-free or low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of regular ice cream. On special occasions, try a twist on traditional fruit pie by adding oats and almonds to the crust. It makes for a crunchy treat!

Eating healthy foods doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. One of the best ways to tell if a meal is both healthy and something you’ll like is by knowing its ingredients. When you do the preparation and cooking, you know exactly what’s going into it, and more importantly, what’s not! You can find more examples of healthy recipes by searching online for NHLBI’s “Heart-Healthy Recipes,” “A Healthier You” Recipes, or Fruits & Veggies Matter’s “Recipe Finder.”

For more information about making healthy food choices for people with diabetes and free resources to help manage diabetes, contact the National Diabetes Education Program at or 1-888-693-NDEP (6337). Bon appétit!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

Food Safety: Fight BAC

April 4th, 2011

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 1st, 2011

Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with alcohol:

  • Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
  • Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
  • Does your drinking worry your family?
  • Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
  • Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
  • Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?