What Happened to 5 a Day?
by Michelle Murphy Zive, M.S., R.D.
Lately you've probably heard or read about the 5 a Day program is changing its' name from California 5 a Day to Network for a Healthy California. This change has caused many questions, to seek answers to these and other questions we went to Blanca Meléndrez, the Director of the Network for a Healthy California for the San Diego and Imperial counties.
Why the change from 5 a Day to Network for a Healthy California?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, was issued in 2005 and now The Network for a Healthy California is the next generation of the successful 5 a Day program. It continues to focus on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, -but adding the need of -physical activity, and food security so as to help prevent chronic diseases and obesity both of which have increased dramatically among low-income California residents.
How about the message "Fruits & Veggies—More Matters" and Champions for Change? Are these related to the Network for a Healthy California?
You bet. The Produce for Better Health Foundation has nationally launched the new brand, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters in order to dramatically increase fruit and vegetable consumption to help Americans achieve healthier lifestyles, and the Network for a Healthy California supports this effort.
Champions for Change is the Network for a Healthy California's rallying cry. We wanted a way to empower the community to get the Network’s messages that eating more fruits and vegetables, getting physically active and improving access to healthy foods is critical for good health.
Throughout California, a local mom was recruited as a Champion Mom for each of the 11 regions. These Champion Moms serve as role models to other mothers and their communities. In San Diego, we are lucky to have Xinia Sánchez as our Champion Mom. Mrs. Sánchez and other community members raised over $400,000 to make improvements to a local park. In her own family she ensures that fruits and vegetables are served at the dinner table every day, and she reads all food labels when grocery shopping. For more information on San Diego’s Champion Mom please visit "More About 5 a Day"
How is the Network for a Healthy California helping to reduce rates of obesity and overweight?
The nation is facing an obesity epidemic, and the impact on rates of chronic diseases, quality of life and health care costs are staggering. Over 50% of adults, 30% of 9 to 11 year olds, and 25% of teens are now overweight or obese. In 2005, the cost of physical inactivity, overweight and obesity in adults was estimated to have cost California $28 billion in medical care, lost productivity and workers’ compensation. The Network efforts contribute to the California Obesity Prevention Plan by empowering California residents with tools to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, increase physical activity, increase food security and prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers.
What is the same between the 5 a Day campaigns and the Network for a Healthy California?
• The Network continues to provide tools,materials and fun events at retail stores, community organizations, schools, and government agencies for the community.
• Through the Network, we are now finding better ways to help families and communities achieve better health, lower rates of obesity, and reduce the risk of serious, costly chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
One of these ways is through our Champion Moms who are Champions for Change; and our advertising campaign throughout California. We need everyone’s help to get out the messages of eating more fruits and vegetables, getting physically active and improving access to healthy foods to your families and throughout your community.
That's what the Network for a Healthy California's Champions for Change is all about.
For more information on how you can be a Champion for your family and community, go to www.cachampionsforchange.net. Also, if you’d like to know more about healthy eating and physical activity for you and your family visit www.mypyramid.gov
Funded in part, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Stamp Program. An equal opportunity provide and employer, through the California Nutrition Network. For information about the California Food Stamp Program, please call 1-800-952-5253
Michelle Murphy Zive, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian with the Regional Nutrition Network and 5 a Day campaigns and the mother of three.
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