Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Too Fat to Fight . . . Obesity and Overweight just might be a National Security Issue

Obese and overweight are not the way to be if you want to join the army. MISSION READINESS, a national nonprofit group of retired generals and admirals wants people to know that obesity and overweight just might be a national security issue. National surveys conducted for the military indicate that approximately one in four young adults is unable to serve because of excess body fat. Poor nutrition and a lack of physical exercise not only leave many young people too heavy to join but they also create challenges for those accepted, such as increased strains or fractures. According to a Pentagon study, the number of Army soldiers booted for being overweight has jumped tenfold in the past five years from 168 in 2008 to 1,815. In the Marine Corps, the figure nearly doubled from 102 in 2010 to 186 in 2011 but dropped to 132 last year.

Prediabetes . . . Are you at risk?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 1 of every 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes. That is approximately 79 million Americans aged 20 years or older living with prediabetes, and most of them don’t know they have it. A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Prediabetes does not have to lead to type 2 diabetes. Colorado is one of many states participating in the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes. This program is now being offered at work places and community-based organizations across Colorado and has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program and where programs are located throughout Colorado, please visit the website or call 1-800-DIABETES.

A recent community health assessment conducted in Jefferson County shows that from 2001 to 2010 there was an 89% increase in diabetes among adults in Jefferson County. This is just one of the many health trends we hope to reverse in the coming years with our community health improvement plan. Find out how you can get involved in creating a healthier Jefferson County, Colorado at

It is Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot, that is the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials nationwide. A recent study of influenza associated pediatric deaths in the United States supports those recommendations and just might compel parents who have waived their children’s vaccinations to reconsider. The report shows that flu-related deaths occurred in many healthy children and that most of the deaths were in children who had not received a seasonal flu vaccination. Read more here: . Jefferson County Public Health offers flu vaccinations to children and adults. Please call to make an appointment: 303-232-6301. For more information, please visit our influenza web page.

Wonder if you have the flu or just a bad cold? Download our flu or cold brochure.

Get Support for Quitting During the Great American Smokeout

Jefferson County Public Health encourages all tobacco users, whether you smoke or use other tobacco products, to Quit for A Day or Quit for Life during the Great American Smokeout, November 21, 2013.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes 443,000—or 1 in 5 deaths each year in the United States.

If you want to take the tobacco-free challenge, there are steps to take now that will help you prepare and significantly increase your chances for success.

  • Colorado offers numerous resources to help you quit smoking or quit using other tobacco products. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • COQuitMobile is a free text-based program that places you on the path to a life free from tobacco.
  • You may also visit the Ready to Quit page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco website for a list of additional resources to help you quit.
  • Tips From Former Smokers is a powerful CDC national campaign that encourages people to quit smoking by highlighting the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones.
  • View this American Lung Association fact sheet about what resources are covered under the new guidelines of the Affordable Care Act. 
Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative is working with students, parents and community members to educate about the harms of tobacco in our communities and to promote tobacco-free living. For more information or to get involved, please visit:, email us at or call Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.

The Journey of Quitting . . . New Video Shares Personal Success Stories

Ever wonder why you or your loved one is having such a hard time quitting smoking, and staying quit? A group of ex-smokers wants you to know that while quitting may be hard, it is possible and absolutely worth it. These former tobacco users share their stories in a new video, “The Journey of Quitting.” Produced in partnership with the Red Rocks Community College Tobacco Cessation Project and Jefferson County Public Health the video tells the stories of nine former smokers and their personal journeys to becoming free from tobacco.

If you are struggling with tobacco or have a loved one that is, give yourself the gift of 20 minutes to view this video and learn tips and lessons from those who have been successful. View this video at: .

It’s Turkey Time . . . Prevent Foodborne Illness this Holiday Season

Whether you are cooking for yourself, your family or a whole bunch of people, it is important to be aware of safety issues when thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey. A few simple steps can help keep foodborne illness off the menu this Thanksgiving.  
  • Safe Thawing-Thawing turkeys must be kept out of the "danger zone" temperature (between 40 and 140°F) — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. See Safe Methods for Thawing, (Spanish version).  
  • Safe Preparation-Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.
  • Safe Stuffing-Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness. Follow these steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffingExternal Web Site Icon; Spanish language instructionsExternal Web Site Icon.
  • Safe Cooking-Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Other resources:
Download JCPH turkey time handout    view  the JCPH Food Safety web  page