Welcome to my blog on healthy eating and food safety. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information. This blog will be updated on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cooking Apps

Cooking Apps
There never seems to be enough to plan and prepare meals.  Here are some apps that can make planning easier.
Grocery iQ is an intuitive grocery list app that allows users to scan items from home to add to the app’s favorites section for future list making.  The app builds lists and arranges items by category for quick shopping.   
Evernote Food is an app that allows users to save recipes found on the Web into a personal cookbook for later use.  You can log notes about dishes in the “My Meals” section of the app.
Appetites is interactive, step-by-step cooking videos.  The app is designed for those with basic kitchen knowledge as well as the more experienced cook.
How to Cook Everything app features thousands of recipes with easy to follow instructions.  There is a search feature and converts measurements quickly.   
          

  

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Menu Labeling Coming to Restaurants

Menu Labeling Coming to Restaurants
Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home. Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.

This menu labeling law applies to all chains with 20 or more locations operating under the same name.  These establishments will provide consumers with clear and consistent nutrition information in a direct and accessible manner for standard items on menus and menu boards.  Information will be available for calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, and sugars.

Examples of restaurant-type foods that are covered when sold by a facility that is part of a chain with 20 or more locations include:
Meals from sit-down restaurants
Foods purchased at drive-through windows
Take-out food 
Deli sandwiches, salad, or hot bar items
Bakery or coffee shop
Ice cream shop desserts
Hot dogs at a convenience store, and
Certain alcoholic beverages 

This information will fill critical gap and help consumers make informed and healthful dietary choices.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Issues with Trans Fats

Issues With Trans Fats
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and the Institute of Medicine recommend that individuals keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.1, 2 There are two main sources of dietary trans fatty acids (trans fat). Naturally occurring trans fat is found in small amounts in the fatty parts of meat and dairy products. Artificial trans fat comes from foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil and is formed when hydrogen is added to liquid oil turning it into solid fat. Often food manufacturers use artificial trans fat in food products because it is inexpensive and it increases the food’s shelf life, stability, and texture.

Consuming trans fat increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol. This risk factor contributes to the leading cause of death in the U.S. – coronary heart disease (CHD).1 Trans fat may also have other adverse health effects like decreasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol. Further reducing trans fat consumption by avoiding artificial trans fat could prevent 10,000-20,000 heart attacks and 3,000-7,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the U.S.3

Trans fat intake has significantly decreased in the US as a result of efforts to increase awareness of its health effects, Nutrition Facts label changes, industry efforts to voluntarily reformulate foods, and some state and local governments’ restriction of its use in restaurants and other food service outlets. However, on average Americans still consume 1.3 grams (0.6% of energy) of artificial trans fat each day.4 Major contributors to artificial trans fat intake include fried items, savory snacks (like microwave popcorn), frozen pizzas, cake, cookies, pie, margarines and spreads, ready-to-use frosting, and coffee creamers. The amount of trans fat can vary among similar food categories.

The amount of trans fat can vary within food categories4

Food category
Range of trans fat per serving (g)
Margarine and spreads
0.0-3.0 g
Cookies
0.0-3.5 g
Frozen pies
0.0-4.5 g
Frozen pizza
0.0-5.0 g
Savory Snacks
0.0-7.0 g

 Trans fat are also found in restaurant and cafeteria foods that contain or are prepared with partially hydrogenated oil. Currently, only about 1 in 5 Americans (20 percent) lives where there are policies that limit the use or sale of foods that contain more than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fat per serving.5

What Can Be Done To Rduce Artificial Trans Fat
Read the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list to compare foods.
o   Choose products with 0 grams trans fat.
o   Check the Ingredient List to see if there is any partially hydrogenated oil in the product.
o   Because products containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can be labeled as having 0 grams trans fat, checking the Ingredient List is important to avoid all artificial trans fat.
·         When choosing foods low in trans fat, make sure they are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol: look for foods with 5% of the Daily Value or less. Foods with 20% or more of the Daily Value of these two components are high.
·         Use monounsaturated fat (canola and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fat (soybean, corn, and sunflower oil) in recipes that call for fat.
·         A good way to avoid trans fat is to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
·         Ask your grocer to stock products free of “partially hydrogenated oil” and “shortening”.
·         Talk with your favorite restaurant establishment about current use of partially hydrogenated oils or changing to a menu that is 100% free of “partially hydrogenated oil” and “shortening”.
·         Choose restaurants that do not use partially hydrogenated oil to prepare food.

 Source: Center for Disease Control

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Having Recess Before Lunch Means More Nutritious Choices

Having Recess Before Lunch Means More Nutritious Choices
Schools that hold recess before lunch find that students select and consume significantly more fruits and vegetables!

The National School Lunch Program underwent reforms in 2010 requiring participating schools to offer more fruits and vegetables, however, many schools found that these components of a balanced meal were ending up not in children’s stomachs but in trash cans, thus not providing the desired nutritional improvements for students. In response to these concerns, researchers David Just, PhD, Cornell University and Joseph Price, PhD, Bingham Young University sought to find ways to nudge student to eat more of their fruits and veggies—reducing food waste and improving student’s nutrition. 

In their study published in the journal Preventive Medicine in December, 2014 the researchers reported that in schools that swapped recess to occur before lunch (three of the seven 1-6th grade schools districts they studied) they found a 45% increase in the amount of fruits and vegetables that students selected and that student’s ate an average of 54% more of those fruits and vegetables!

Just and Price suggest that when recess is held after lunch, students will hurry though their meal in order to be excused for recess, whereas if recess is held before lunch, students feel less hurried and are more likely to finish more of their nutritionally balanced meals. They recommend holding recess before lunch as an easy-to-implement, no-cost change that can both improve student’s nutrition and reduce the cafeteria’s food waste.

From Increase Student’s Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Holding Recess before Lunch.

The Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice is an online resource area where you can find research based tools and information about how to make simple changes that encourage children to make healthier food selections in school food environments! www.extension.org/healthy_food_choices_in_schools

Friday, February 20, 2015

Egg Consumption Increases

Egg Consumption Increases
According to the American Egg Board, the egg industry has added nearly four eggs per person per year.  The estimated consumption of eggs was estimated at 257.9 eggs per person in 2014. Consumers are more positive about eggs than they were five to 10 years ago.

Part of the increase in popularity is due to the amount of protein in eggs.  One large egg contains more than six grams of protein.  As cereal consumption has decreased, eggs are becoming more popular for breakfast.  Dietary cholesterol in eggs – 186 milligrams in one large egg is not a key contributor to cholesterol levels.   
While the price of eggs have increased in recent years, the cost of other sources of protein also have  increased significantly which makes eggs a good value at the grocery store.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Children and Screen Time

Children and Screen Time
A recent study published last month in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who slept near a “small screen” such as a smartphone, had 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep per weekday than those who never did and those who slept in a room with a TV received 18 fewer minutes of sleep per weekday than those with no TV.  To see the study go to http://bit.ly/1KoMrS1. Those with screens, - smartphones or TVs- went to bed on average 30 minutes later than those with no screens. 

The study examined about 2,000 fourth and seventh graders. The study examined weekday sleep habits because the students had a fixed wake-up time during the school year.  There are many concerns related to the lack of sleep i.e. effects of inactivity, school performance, and psychosocial health.

Here are some tips for helping young people to remain physically active:
·         Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself.
·         Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together.
·         Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
·         Take young people to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields or basketball courts.
·         Be positive about the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage them to be interested in new activities.
·         Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. Activities can range from team sports or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play.
·         Instead of watching television after dinner, encourage your child to find fun activities to do on their own or with friends and family, such as walking, playing chase or riding bikes.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Heart Healthy Foods

Heart Healthy Foods
February is American Heart Month. Heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S., doesn't discriminate: While it tends to strike men earlier, it affects both genders.
The good news is many cases of stroke and heart attacks are preventable through lifestyle changes. For example, a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease, and some foods are lauded by dietitians as playing an especially important role in keeping your ticker humming. Here are some great foods for heart health.
Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber that's been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and carry excess cholesterol out of the body. To get this benefit, a person needs three grams of soluble fiber per day (about 1½ cups of cooked oatmeal) as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Fatty fish including salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to help lower triglyceride levels, reduce the risk of blood clots, reduce the overall risk for heart attacks, and lower blood pressure levels. A six-ounce fillet of wild salmon has about 60 fewer calories than farm raised salmon and half the fat.  Other healthy fish options include mackerel, fresh albacore tuna, Atlantic herring, sardines and lake trout.
Walnuts are a good source of polyunsaturated fat — the kind that's been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lowers the production of LDL cholesterol in the body. They're also a vegetarian source of omega-3s, making them a boon for people who don't eat fish.
Avocado is full of healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain phytosterols which can lower LDL (bad cholesterol.)
Low-fat dairy products can help prevent high blood pressure.


 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Inadequate Physical Activity Increase Health Care Costs in the United States


Inadequate Physical Activity Increase Health Care Costs in the United States
Despite the known health benefits of being physically active, only about half of US adults meet the minimum guidelines for aerobic physical activity. In a recently published study in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, CDC and Emory University researchers reported that physically active adults had lower annual direct health care expenditures than adults participating in inadequate levels of physical activity. The study estimated that 11.1% of total health care expenditures were associated with inadequate levels of physical activity. This equates to about $117 billion per year of direct health care expenditures being associated with inadequate levels of physical activity.
 In this same study, when adults with any reported difficulty walking from health problem were excluded, 8.7% of health care expenditures were associated with inadequate levels of physical activity. This equates to about $79 billion per year of direct health care expenditures associated with inadequate levels of physical activity.
The considerable financial burden associated with inadequate levels of physical activity in the United States could potentially be reduced by increasing adults’ physical activity to levels consistent with current guidelines and Healthy People 2020 objectives.

Being physically active is one of the most important steps that Americans can take to improve their health. People who are regularly physically active generally live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults participate in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity equivalent aerobic physical activity and at least two or more times a week of muscle-strengthening activities for health benefits

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Making Healthy Choices When Selecting Coffee Drinks

Making Healthy Choices When Selecting Coffee Drinks
Drinking coffee is a popular pastime as well as being important for people looking for a boast from the caffeine contained in coffee.  Over the years, the number of coffee drink options has increased substantially.  While these drinks taste great, it is easy to consume more calories than anticipated. 

Remember that a cup of black coffee has no calories, carbohydrates or grams of fat. Once additional ingredients are added, this can change quickly.  Many coffee drinks depending on the ingredients can include a lot of sugar and fat.  Take the time to obtain and check out the nutrition information on your favorite coffee drinks, so you know how much fat and sugar are in these products.
Save on calories, fat and sugar by ordering a smaller size.  You still enjoy the drink, while consuming fewer calories, fat and sugar.

Skip the whip cream which does not add much nutritional value while adding more calories.
Select skim milk to reduce saturated fat and calories.

Remember flavored syrups and toppings can increase the sugar content of coffee drinks.  Either request a smaller flavor sot or skip the syrup entirely.            

Friday, February 6, 2015

Celebrate Baking During the Month of February

Celebrate Baking During the Month of February
What is your favorite baking memory? Baking traditions, recipes and family heritage are handed down through each generation. Bake for Family Fun Month is the perfect time to share the goodness of baking with your family.  
Here are some tips for incorporating healthy ingredients into baked goods made with family members.
·         Using high-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, can pay off. More-flavorful ingredients make you less likely to miss any calories you've cut by reducing or substituting other ingredients.
·         Make the switch to using beans in place of shortening to make brownies. To make the  switch, pulse cannellini beans, black beans, or lentils in a food processor with a little water,  then replace half the butter, oil, or  shortening in your baked goods with an equal amount of the puree. I have made brownies with black beans and people were not aware beans were added.
·         For a lighter spin on cream cheese frosting, which is typically made with full-fat cream cheese and butter, beat together an eight-ounce block of reduced-fat cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The fluffy icing contains a mere 59 calories and three grams of fat per tablespoon.
·         Buttercream can pack more than 140 calories and five grams of fat in just two tablespoons. Instead, frost cakes with nonfat whipped topping or sift powdered sugar, which contains just 10 calories per teaspoon.
·         The next time you make chocolate chip cookies, use one cup of mini morsels instead of two cups of the regular kind to reduce calories and fat. The smaller pieces provide more chips per bite, so you still feel as if you're getting plenty of chocolate. The same principle can be applied to other calorie-dense ingredients, like nuts and dried fruit, by finely chopping half the amount called for in the recipe.
·         Replacing one cup of white flour with the whole wheat kind adds 10 grams of heart-healthy fiber to baked items.  Since whole grains are coarser than refined ones, start with a fifty-fifty mix.   When baking a white cake I will typically stay with all purpose flour for a better texture.  
·         Sugar adds sweetness to baked goods. I typically cut the sugar by 25 percent when baking.  This change does not impact the texture or flavor.
 
For additional information on Bake for Family Fund Month, check out the Home Baking Association website at
http://www.homebaking.org/familyfun  Each week there will be designated recipes, baking activities and opportunities to spend time together in the kitchen. From toddler to grandparent - baking is the perfect family activity!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homemade Soup Day - February 4th

Homemade Soup Day – February 4th
Soup is a common meal in many countries and probably dates back to the invention of the earliest cooking pots.  While it is easy to open a can and heat a can of soup, it is even better when it is homemade.  Soup is easy, inexpensive and quick to make.  What a better way to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup than on Homemade Soup Day.    

It’s almost impossible to quickly consume a bowl of soup. You have to eat slowly and enjoy each spoonful. Also, the high liquid content of most soups does a great job of filling your stomach.
Here are some tips for making healthy soup.
·     If the soup or stew is high in fiber (from beans, vegetables, and/or whole grains), it will also help add bulk to your meal and thus help you feel full longer.
·    Soft watery vegetables like zucchinis and yellow squash add gorgeous body and texture without overpowering the flavor
·    As long as the soup is broth- or tomato-based, usually there are fewer calories. A cup of broth, by itself, is typically very low in calories and fat grams.  Cream-based soups can be a different story. One cup of light whipping cream has lots of calories and fat. One option is to switch to whole milk in creamy soup recipes.
·    Not all broth products are created alike.  Try a number of broths to determine which you like best or take the time to make broth from scratch.
·    Roasting a chicken or turkey is a good excuse for making broth from the soup which will lead to an excellent tasting soup.
·    Look for opportunities to add extra vegetables to soup.  
·    Look for recipes which have dried or canned beans as an ingredient.  Beans are an excellent source of fiber and offer a lot of nutritional value.

Monday, February 2, 2015

February is Potato Lovers Month

February is Potato Lovers Month
Potatoes are very easy to cook and can be used in a wide variety of recipes. They are also a great addition to your diet. Did you know that the skin of a potato contains lots of nutritional value? According to coloradopotatoes.org, the skin contains half of the potato’s dietary fiber. It is also a great source of vitamins and minerals, containing almost half of your daily recommended vitamin C and about 1/5 of your daily recommended potassium.

Unfortunately many potato recipes include significant amounts of fat and sodium.  Here is a recipe for making healthy oven potatoes with less fat and sodium.
 Healthier Oven Potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1.       Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
2.       Combine oil, garlic, basil, rosemary, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl. Toss in potatoes until evenly coated. Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.
3.       Roast in preheated oven, turning occasionally, until potatoes are brown on all sides, 20 to 30 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Healthy Recipes for Super Bowl Parties
Here are some great tasting and healthy recipes to serve at Super Bowl festivities this weekend.

Pomegranate Salad
1 bunch romaine lettuce, torn (about 8 cups)
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

1.       In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce, pomegranate seeds, pecans and cheese. Toss apple with lemon juice and add to salad.
2.       In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until blended.  Drizzle over salad; toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

Healthy Snacks for Super Bowl Parties
Bean Dip
1 16 ounce can pinto beans, drained and washed 
1 16 ounce can black beans, drained and washed
1 15 ounce can pegged corn
1 cup chopped green, red and yellow pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery

Dressing
½ cup olive oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar (may need to add a little more)
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon pepper (optional)

Combine dressing ingredients in saucepan and heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
Mix together first six ingredients and then pour dressing over bean mixture and mix well.  Marinate for several hours.  You can drain and eat with chips or just eat as is.  

Fruit Dip
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon dry sugar free gelatin (I used raspberry flavor)

Combine vanilla yogurt and dry gelatin Serve with fresh fruit i.e. apple slices, pineapple, grapes and strawberries.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gluten-Free Food Label

Gluten-Free Food Label
On August 5, 2013, FDA issued a final rule defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary use in the labeling of foods. The compliance date for the final rule was August 5, 2014. Food products bearing a gluten-free claim labeled on or after that date must meet the rule's requirements. In addition, on June 25, 2014, FDA issued a guide for small food businesses to help them comply with the final rule's requirements. FDA will continue to educate and monitor industry on the gluten-free claim.

 Who does the rule benefit? These actions benefit people with celiac disease, an inherited chronic inflammatory auto-immune disorder that is estimated to affect up to 3 million Americans. For people who have celiac disease, consumption of gluten results in the destruction of the lining of the small intestine and the risk of other serious health conditions. The definition also benefits the food industry by establishing a level playing field among manufacturers of products labeled “gluten-free.”

In general, foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if they meet the definition and otherwise comply with the final rule’s requirements. More specifically, the final rule defines "gluten-free" as meaning that the food either is inherently gluten free; or does not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.

The final rule applies to all FDA-regulated packaged foods, including dietary supplements. The rule excludes those foods whose labeling is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Generally, USDA regulates the labeling of meats, poultry, and certain egg products (FDA regulates the labeling of shell eggs). TTB regulates the labeling of most alcoholic beverages, including all distilled spirits, wines that contain 7 percent or more alcohol by volume, and malted beverages that are made with both malted barley and hops.  FDA says that restaurants making a gluten-free claim on their menus should be consistent with FDA’s definition

All foods imported into the United States must meet the same federal requirements as foods domestically produced. Therefore, if the label of an imported food subject to FDA regulations makes a gluten-free claim, that food must comply with the gluten-free labeling requirements.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Healthy Habits Can Save You Money

Healthy Habits Can Save You Money
We know that not smoking, being active and making healthy food choices are good for our bodies. But what about our wallets?

Research shows that healthy habits can also save money. Gayle Coleman, nutrition education specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, offers 10 tips for increasing your health--and wealth--in 2015.
1. Stop (or don’t start) smoking. Simple math reveals big savings. For example, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day at $8 per pack and quit smoking, you could save around $240 per month or close to $3,000 per year. Smokers who quit also are more likely to save money on health care such as treatment for upper respiratory illness.
2. Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes (or more) each day. Research shows that people who get regular physical activity are less likely to have heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.”

Being physically active helps people manage their stress, blood pressure, blood sugar and body weight. Studies show that average out-of-pocket spending for individuals with at least one chronic medical condition such as diabetes was $655 annually per person. For individuals with three or more chronic conditions it was $1,865 annually. Compare these costs to the cost of a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
3. Enjoy your food but eat less. Choosing smaller portions of food often means consuming fewer calories and maintaining a healthy weight, especially if you’re cutting back on desserts, high-fat meats and sugary beverages. And reducing portion sizes to lose weight is more cost-effective than participating in a weight loss program that may charge $20 to $50 a month.
4. Wash your hands. Lathering up with soap and water, and scrubbing your hands for 20 seconds is key to preventing illnesses such as colds and flu. Staying healthy could also save wages. For example, an employee making $10 per hour without the benefit of sick leave would lose $80 per day by missing work due to illness or to care for a sick child.
5. Drink water in place of sugary beverages. Replacing sugary beverages with water can save hundreds of dollars a year. For example, if you spend $1 per day on soda and replace it with tap water, you could save $30 per month or $365 per year.
6. Eat fruit in place of sweet snacks. Fruits are loaded with nutrients, low in calories and can reduce the risk of developing chronic disease. The cost of a piece of fruit might be about the same as a candy bar, but when you look at potential cost savings for preventing illness, fruit is the better bargain.
7. Munch on raw veggies in place of snack chips. Vegetables are another nutrition bargain. The cost of a bag of baby carrots is less than the cost of a similar size bag of snack chips--but the carrots could save you money through better health and lower health care costs.
8. Plan and prepare low-cost meals. A few hours a week spent planning your shopping and preparing meals can save your family hundreds of dollars a year. Include foods that are a good buy, such as in-season produce or lean meat that is on sale. Planning a weekly menu also increases the chances that food you purchase will be used before it spoils. For example, you might save $5 per week by bringing two lunches from home rather than eating out, which adds up to $20 per month or $240 per year.
9. Read labels and follow directions on medications. Not following directions on over-the-counter or prescription medications can be a costly mistake. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if directions are confusing or you have questions about taking your medications. Research indicates that the cost of low health literacy to the Wisconsin economy is in the range of $3.4 billion to $7.6 billion annually.
10. Prevent illness. You’ve probably heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same thing applies to health care costs. Getting a flu vaccine at the local drugstore might cost $30 a year. But you save on the costs of medications, lost work, doctors’ visits and even hospitalization to treat the flu if you get sick. Similarly, early detection and treatment of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer through low-cost screenings, could save you the expense of more extensive treatment down the road.

Source: Gayle Coleman, Nutrition Education Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension