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Blog for Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Good evening folks! Got some interesting articles to cover in tonight's blog, including a look at the Healthy Food Choices Act being introduced by our local Representative, Dr. Phil Roe, what the 2X3+1 rule is, and what percentage of Americans live a "healthy" lifestyle. Leading off, this article from our Tri-Cities CBS affiliate tells us about Rep. Phil Roe's reintroduction of his "Healthy Food Choices Act". With it being reintroduced, I guess it previously died in committee or was voted down, probably due to some snack and soda lobbyists. The Act itself is meant to retool the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by requiring SNAP recipients to purchase "real, nutritious foods" and prohibiting SNAP benefits from being used on soft drinks, candy, and other low-nutrition foods. It is not meant to be a cut in the amount of SNAP benefits received, just a re-purposing of how they are used. While this might ruffle some feathers somewhere, I can't imagine why. It seems like a very practical way to not only improve peoples' lives now, but also to reduce ever-rising health care costs in the future. Since the government does subsidize this benefit for those who need it, why not look at the bigger picture? There is still a great deal of variety found in healthy food choices, so I have a hard time seeing a downside to this one. I'm rooting for you on this one, Rep. Roe. Good luck. Batting second is this piece that tells us what the "2X3+1 rule" is, with regards to your diet.  It's pretty simple, really. Eat 2 fruits or vegetables, 3 times daily (so, breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and eat 1 more fruit or vegetable as a snack. It's easy to remember, and this simple change could help you get the vitamins and nutrients your diet may be lacking! The article even has plenty of tips for how to best implement this change in your life, since you might not be in the habit of washing, cutting, and/or preparing that many fruit and vegetable servings! So we've led off with some good news and some good tips, now it's time for some less sunny news. According to a Mayo clinic study referenced in this article , less than 3% of Americans live what the Mayo clinic defines as a "healthy" lifestyle. The number is 2.7%, to be more precise. Wow. Their definition includes 4 factors, which are: 
  • Moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week
  • A diet score in the top 40 percent on the Healthy Eating Index
  • A body fat percentage under 20 percent (for men) or 30 percent (for women)
  • Not smoking

Sounds pretty reasonable, right? I knew that we, as Americans, were not very healthy, but that really blows my mind. Maybe Phil Roe should work on some healthy food bills for the rest of us! I'm mostly kidding, freedom to choose what you eat is great. But most of us need to make some better choices. Hope you're trying to, if you need to be, so that you can be healthy, my friends. 

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