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Cooperative Extension recognized for ’Role Model’ efforts

Posted 3/3/2011

Fresh fruits and vegetable programs receive national recognition

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) recognized University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) for its healthy fruit and vegetable programs recently. Programs like Grow Yourself Healthy, Team Nutrition: Smart Choices and Veggies 4 Kids teach elementary- and high-school-aged Nevadans the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables daily. The programs also emphasize the importance of physical activity.

Extension Nutrition Specialist Kerry Seymour will travel to Monterey, Calif., April 1 to accept the “Role Model” recognition at the PBH Annual Meeting, and UNCE health-food programs will be showcased in several of PBHs 2011 public-relations efforts.

The importance of making healthy lifestyle choices—like “eating a rainbow” of healthy fruits and veggies as well as incorporating daily physical activity—is a message worth getting behind, Seymour said.

“The link between healthy living and eating fresh fruits and vegetables can’t be overstated,” Seymour said. “We see direct links between obesity reduction and chronic disease prevention. For those reasons, it’s tough not to support the adequate, if not generous, intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

UNCE partners with the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to help Nevada youth eat healthy and be active. WCSD has received $1,100,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to promote these healthy lifestyle choices in Washoe County schools. Through this funding and with UNCE programming, over 20,000 Nevada students learned the health benefits of fruits, vegetables and physical activity last year — when childhood obesity was officially announced as a national epidemic.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation is made up of a unique combination of growers and producers as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the USDA.

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