With the beginning of a new year approaching, the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSDH) would like to encourage Oklahomans to choose healthy initiatives that can be taken on for 2016. A nationwide poll for 2015 saw Americans choosing a healthier lifestyle in three of the top 10 resolutions made for the year. Losing weight ranked first, staying fit ranked fifth and quit smoking came in at seventh.
The latest U.S. Health Rankings has Oklahoma currently ranked 45th among levels of obesity and 40th among smokers. A Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey conducted in 2014 reported 33 percent of Oklahomans are obese, and another 35 percent are overweight.
Even with the current rankings, Oklahomans are making some forward progress. Based off a recent survey, adult smoking in Oklahoma has decreased by 19 percent in the past four years, reaching an all-time low as a result of focused efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. The number of adult smokers dropped by almost 78,000 between 2013 and 2014 alone. The decrease has moved Oklahoma’s ranking to 40th in the nation, up from 47th at the start of this decade.
A contributing factor to this decrease are the resources Oklahomans have available to assist them “Oklahoma is among the best states in providing access to medications and counseling to help tobacco users quit,” said OSDH Tobacco Use Prevention Manager, Adrienne Rollins. “The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free, 24/7 service available to all Oklahomans age 13 years and older. Services are provided in a variety of ways that may also be customized for each caller, including coaching calls, web coaching, emails, text messages, and a quit guide.”
The Center for Advancement of Wellness and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) work together to offer multiple solutions and support to quit smoking. The center also has many partners throughout the state to offer Oklahomans solutions for proper nutrition and physical activity.
“We have to acknowledge that it’s hard to make healthy choices without healthy options,” said OSDH Obesity Prevention Coordinator, Candace Macedo. One of the best things Oklahomans can do in 2016 is to speak up for health. Team up with friends and family to let organizations, businesses and service providers know that you want healthy options. Together, 2016 can be a healthier year for all Oklahomans - one choice and one voice at a time.”
Anyone interested in more information on healthy initiatives or how to make this year one of healthy change, can contact the OSDH Center for the Advancement of Wellness at (405) 271-3619 or toll free 1-877-662-8887.