Guest post by Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services
Earlier this week, we hosted an event at the Downtown Central YMCA in Wilmington to kick off “31 Days to a Healthier You,” a social media campaign offering healthy-living ideas and advice directly to Delawareans.
At the beginning of every New Year, people resolve to lose weight, stop smoking or exercise more. Those big goals have the best chance at succeeding if we break them down into small changes in our daily lives. “31 Days” will offer tips and advice on manageable steps that can add up to big rewards.
Our campaign will bring information to people via social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, flickr and Instagram. Look for the hashtag #healthDE. We also want Delawareans to interact with us. We know that those small steps can become lifestyle changes if we talk with others about what we’re doing and why.
As a state, we have made progress on several key health indicators. Our smoking levels are at historic lows. Our heart disease deaths have dropped significantly, and so has our cancer death rate.
But there are many more challenges. The prevalence of obesity among adults in Delaware has doubled from 1990 to 2010, with nearly two-thirds of adults now at an unhealthy weight. Unfortunately, that pattern of behavior extends to our young people, with 37 percent of Delaware children at an unhealthy weight in 2011.
We can do better. If you have seen Gov. Markell out cycling, you know how seriously he embraces an active lifestyle and the promotion of good health. In 2010, he appointed the Delaware Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to help create a culture of health and wellness in our state. Today, please join our social media campaign and commit to a healthier you.