New campaign promotes healthy eating habits


POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2009

With nearly one-fourth of Hawaii's starting kindergartners overweight and obese, the state has launched a project to encourage healthy family eating habits.





        » Turn off the TV during meals.

» Eat together in one place in your home.


» Plan and eat three meals and two healthy snacks daily.


» Eat fruits and vegetables with meals and snacks.


» Drink two to three cups of skim or 1 percent milk per day.


» Avoid fast food and soda.


» Drink a lot of water.


» Plan meals to help avoid skipping a meal or eating fast food.




Educational materials to help prevent obesity have been developed for pediatricians and families by the state Department of Health's Healthy Hawaii Initiative and the University of Hawaii Department of Pediatrics.

The materials are intended to help pediatricians talk to families with children during health visits and to help families eat healthier foods.

“;The doctor's recommendations consist of age-related tips from infancy on and include topics such as breast-feeding, limiting sweet drinks, eating meals together as a family at home and turning off the

television during meals,”; Dr. Louise Iwaishi, principal investigator for the Pediatric Obesity Prevention Project, said in a news release.

Dr. Chiyome Fukino, state health director, said the agency partnership is working to change the system and encourage health-care centers and physicians to use the new materials.

Overweight children and adolescents are at increased risk for many health conditions as they grow older, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and shorter life expectancies, the Health Department said.

The project is starting at Kapiolani Medical Center with doctors trained in sharing the information with parents or caregivers of children.

The handouts and posters also are also being translated in Marshallese and Chuukese.