The Delaware Public Health District recommends these healthy lifestyle basics for all Delaware County individuals and families. If you’re just starting out with trying to lose weight or make healthier choices, just pick one or two of these activities, and try adding more to your daily routine over time.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and moderate amounts of whole grains
Drink more water
Reduce the daily number of soft drinks and juices with added sugars
Reduce the daily amount of high fat, high sugar, and high sodium foods
Choose low-fat dairy products or alternatives
Increase daily physical activity
Limit TV and computer time, especially for young children
For child-bearing families, breastfeed exclusively to 6 months when possible
Schools play an important and unique role in promoting healthy choices to our youth. Nationally, children in the U.S. are in schools for 6 hours a day which can directly impact the ways that they eat and participate in physical activity. Healthy kids are better learners and schools can help students practice making healthy choices that lay a foundation for living a healthy life.
The DPHD helps support the students, faculty, and staff in our schools to implement policies and practices that create healthy environments that support healthy eating and physical activity. Examples of policies, programs and or practices include:
Providing students with nutritious and appealing foods and beverages as well as accurate and consistent messaging about good nutrition.
Increasing ways to learn about and participate in healthy eating during their time spent at school.
Join with parent-teacher organizations to support healthy eating and physical activity at every school building
Increase physical activity opportunities for students, ideally through daily physical education classes, daily recess, or in classroom physical activity.
Teacher and staff role modeling of healthy behaviors to students by being physically active, consuming healthy foods and beverages, and getting involved in the school’s employee wellness program.
Promoting physical activity before and after school such as walking or biking to and from school or afterschool activities. Additionally, schools can adopt safe routes to schools (SRTS) approaches to promote and make it easier for children to walk or bike to school.
Americans working full time spend more than one-third of their day, five days per week on average at the workplace. Workplace wellness programs and policies can help reduce health risks, and improve quality of life, leading to better productivity and reduced health care costs.
The Health District recommends these specific action steps for all Delaware County Employers to get started promoting a healthy lifestyle for their employees:
Establish worksite wellness programs with ongoing employee challenges.
Support breastfeeding through written policies and by providing a designated space.
Provide opportunities and incentives for physical activity at work, including group classes, outdoor exercise areas, walking paths and stairwell programs.
Provide healthy and affordable food and beverages in employee cafeterias and vending, and guidelines for serving healthy foods at meetings and trainings.
Provide ongoing messages at work that promote physical activity and healthy eating, creating a culture of wellness.
Provide employees and their dependents health benefits that cover obesity-reduction programs.
The CDC Workplace Health Resource Center is a great one-stop shop for finding accurate and actionable information to help employers launch or expand their workplace health promotion efforts.
The community we live in directly affects our healthy food and physical activity options which in turn affects the number of people who experience chronic disease and poor health outcomes. In the United States, chronic diseases are leading causes of death and disability, and some groups are affected more than others. For example, obesity is a chronic disease that increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer.
To help prevent chronic disease, the Delaware Public Health District promotes communities taking action to improve the healthy foods and physical activity to ensure that supports to living a healthy and active life are available in every neighborhood such as:
Participation in community coalitions to prevent disease and improve residents’ health.
Support and build more walking and bike paths, sidewalks, parks & green space, and community playgrounds.
The Delaware County CHIP is a long-term effort taken on by a multi-sector collaboration of partners and community residents to address health problems through developing goals and strategies which can help prioritize projects and resource efforts. To work toward improving health behaviors outcomes, the following strategies are recommended:
Adopt healthy food initiatives
Promote healthy lifestyle practices through education and skill building
Community fitness programs
Promotion of physical activity through the adoption of built environment changes and green space
If you are interested in learning more about the 2023-2028 CHIP, and the work we are doing in this area, please reach out to us!
This virtual meeting is time set aside in between the main Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County quarterly meetings for community organizations and residents who are working to implement the Health Behaviors priority strategies in the 2023-2028 CHIP as well as generally improving healthy eating and active living for themselves, their clients and our community. If you have not already received an invitation to the virtual meeting and would like to attend, please contact Josie Bonnette.