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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion
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Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion

Health Promotion

Benefits of Healthy Lifestyle Choices

7 Tips from North Carolina's Eat Smart Move More program


Regular physical activity enhances the quality of life for people of all ages and helps older adults maintain their functional independence.

Regular physical exercise can help prevent and manage coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stress, anxiety and mental health problems. Physical activity has also has been associated with lower rates of colon and breast cancer and of stroke, and it may help reduce back injuries and improve depression. It can also improve endurance, strength, balance, bone density and self-esteem.

Lack of time is often sited as an excuse for lack of physical activity, yet we can all fit physical activity into our day by taking the stairs, going for a walk during break time, not using drive-up windows, etc. Another common excuse for not being physically active is a lack of energy, yet physical activity actually increases energy, while also improving emotional well-being.

Make time for exercise today, or make time for illness later.

Being physically active can help reduce the risk of:

Keep track of your Daily Dose of physical activity

Eat Smart Move More

Guide to Walking - by a physical therapist

Active Kids

Let's Move! Missoula


. . . of Montanans are physically active.

Behavior Risk Survey, 2012

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A healthy body weight is easy on joints and bones and avoids unnecessary stress on heart, lungs, liver, kidney's and other organs. You move better, sleep better, and have more energy if you maintain a healthy weight. It also allows for better quality of life and independence, especially as a person ages.

Obesity is the 2nd leading cause of preventable death in the US, and is responsible for an increased risk of nearly 30 medical conditions, as well as reduced mobility. In addition, the social stigma associated with obesity can hamper employment opportunities and community interaction, leading to isolation and depression.

Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight can help reduce the risk of:

100,000 Cancers Linked to Excess Body Fat - American Cancer Institute

Obesity and cancer risk - National Cancer Insttute

Overweight and Obesity Concerns

Effects of childhood obesity on hearing loss - US Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013

Costs associated with obesity and smoking - 2015 article



. . . of Montanans are at a healthy body weight. 

Behavior Risk Survey 2012

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Alcohol is an integral part of our society, and red wine even has a small health benefit. However, alcohol is also a mood altering drug that impairs a person’s judgment and ability to do routine tasks, and, in some people, it is addictive.

Even moderate alcohol use can increase the risk of accidental injury. Nationwide, alcohol is related to:

As many as 40% of traumatic injuries treated in US emergency rooms may be alcohol-related; 20% - 25% of hospital admissions for an injury are alcohol-related.

Reducing alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of:

The costs associated with excessive alcohol use - CDC, 2013

In 2006, those costs averaged $1.9 Billion, per state.

“Excessive alcohol use has devastating impacts on individuals, families, communities, and the economy,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “In addition to injury, illness, disease, and death, it costs our society billions of dollars through reduced work productivity, increased criminal justice expenses, and higher healthcare costs. Effective prevention programs can support people in making wise choices about drinking alcohol.”

Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for an average of 80,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost in the United States each year. Binge drinking is responsible for over half of these deaths and two-thirds of the years of life lost.
Binge drinking, which is defined as consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men or four or more drinks on an occasion for women, was responsible for more than 70 percent of excessive alcohol use related costs.

Researchers believe that the study’s findings are underestimated because it did not consider a number of other costs, such as those due to pain and suffering by the excessive drinker or others who were affected by the drinking.

What is alcoholism? A varied discussion by professionals in the field of addiction treatment. (Click on the person's name to see their comments on each question.)


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There is a direct link between good eating habits and good health.

Fresh food, grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and fish, offer complete nutrition and variety of flavor and texture. Home cooked meals can be low in fat, sodium, and calories and higher in nutrition and fiber than processed or restaurant food. Preparing meals at home has the added benefits of saving money and bringing families closer together.

Eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of:

Soda Pop - a poor choice

Our society, especially teens, seems to always be sipping on a soda. While some choose artificially sweetened pop, many more choose the sugar-sweetened variety, with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 15 calories per ounce. (The average 12 oz can contains almost ¼ cup of sugar, and 150 calories.) This contributes to obesity as well as tooth decay, and may also contribute to poor nutrition by replacing nutrition-rich food, milk or fruit juice with high-calorie flavored sugar water that has no nutritional value. Many sodas now contain caffeine as well, which is a mildly addictive stimulant.

Fruits & Veggies – a good choice

Fruits and vegetables are the ultimate fast food, packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber which protect against chronic diseases. Substituting fruits and veggies for high-fat, low-fiber fast food can help manage weight and improve energy levels. Fruits and veggies are also less expensive than high-fat fast food, and require minimal preparation and packaging.

Eat Smart, Move Move



. . . of Montanans eat 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies every day.

Behavior Risk Survey 2010

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The cost of prevention is small peanuts in comparison to the staggering social and personal costs of treating, managing, and living with chronic diseases. When detected in the early stages and management guidelines are conscientiously followed, the impact of chronic diseases can be significantly reduced.

Cancer Screening Recommendations - American Cancer Society

Health Care Screenings

Health screenings should also include:


. . . of Montanans have ever had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

Behavior Risk Survey 2012

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A seat belt is the best defense against serious injury or death in a traffic crash. You may be a good driver, but your seat belt can help protect you from "the other guy" who may be distracted, impaired, reckless, or just using poor judgment

During a crash, everything and everyone not belted in gets thrown around. That means that a person wearing a seat belt can be injured or killed by an un-belted occupant.

Car crash injuries have an impact on more than the victim:

The simple seat belt is very effective at reducing the physical, emotional, financial and community costs of traffic crashes.


. . . of Montanans reported always wearing a seat belt.

BRFSS 2012

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Research has repeatedly shown that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco in any form, and that nicotine and the chemicals added to tobacco are physically and mentally addictive. Even exposure to secondhand smoke (involuntary smoking) has similar effects.  Lung Association and Secondhand Smoke.

To eliminate the risks, don't start smoking; if you do smoke, quit. If you can't quit, don't smoke around children or other non-smokers.

Eliminating a child's exposure to second-hand smoke can reduce their risk of:

If you are a non-smoker, ask smokers to go outside if they are in your home. 


. . . of US citizens do not allow smoking at all in their homes. 2012

Eliminating exposure to tobacco can reduce the risk of:

Tobacco Use Prevention

Smoking during pregnancy - NY Univsersity School of Medicine, 2013 study

Costs associated with smoking and obesity - 2015 article 

graph preventable causes of death 

Top 10 health improvements achieved by the US from 1900-1999 are:

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