National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The theme for 2017 is "Put Your Best Fork Forward", which acts as a reminder that each bite counts. Making small shifts in our food choices, can add up over time.
It is essential to eat a fresh, healthy and balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic disease. Numerous studies have shown a clear link between the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed and rates of chronic diseases, especially cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, about one third of all cancers can be prevented through a nutritious diet that includes fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Despite the benefits, many people still do not eat recommended levels of fruits and vegetables. In Western New York (WNY), an average of 23.4% of adults consume the daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables.
Moreover, fast food is often high in fat and calories and lacking in recommended nutrients. Frequent consumption of these foods and an insufficient consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables increase the risk of being overweight and obese. When it comes to fast food restaurants in WNY, we maintain a rate of 0.73 restaurants per 1,000 population. The density of fast food restaurant has been on the rise since 2009, from 0.69 restaurants to 0.73 restaurants per 1,000 population.