Press Release

May 10, 2006


State public health director stresses the importance of healthy living for seniors during Older American Month

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, discussed several health tips for seniors during a luncheon today at Zion Baptist Church with Reverend Samuel Hale, in honor of Older Americans Month, with the theme, Choices for Independence. Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. It is also a time to focus on the health of seniors and their current needs.

“Seniors can live independently longer if they maintain a healthy lifestyle that emphasizes nutrition, physical activity, prevention and participating in their own health care,” said Dr. Whitaker. “We are beginning to see the baby boomers age and beginning to understand the important role health takes in maintaining quality of life.”

Good nutrition is an essential part of staying healthy and remaining independent. Eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods has been linked to reduced risks for developing chronic health conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer. Nutrition tips include:

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Choose whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products
  • Eat lean proteins such as poultry, fish, beans and nuts
  • Limit fat, sodium and sugar

Exercise is another key to maintaining good health. Studies show that being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many disease and disabilities. Even moderate exercise can improve the health of seniors who are frail or who have diseases that occur with age.

A senior praise dance group, the Greater All Nations Tabernacle Church of God and Christ Super Seniors know the importance of staying active and performed, along with the Zion Baptist Church Golden Agers and the East Side Seniors, during this afternoon’s luncheon.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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