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Message to Michigan Residents: Forgo Fad Dieting and Join the Campaign for Healthy Weight

Campaign to Visit Detroit to Rally Residents to Eat Right, Move More and

Milk Their Diets

DETROIT, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The last decade can be defined by the ups and downs of different fad diets -- which seem to go in and out of fashion like shoulder pads and hemlines. Yet, long-term success has been slim. Two out of three Americans -- including 30 percent of Michigan residents -- remain overweight or obese.

A new campaign crossing the country, the Campaign for Healthy Weight, is rallying Americans behind the healthy weight cause and urging people to think more about their "health" instead of simply a number on the scale. Studies indicate that small, specific changes in physical activity and calorie intake can make a big difference. And, people who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to be at risk for weight-related health conditions, such as heart disease. The Campaign will make its stop in Detroit on May 17, to urge local residents to change their "diet" mindset and elect a new attitude.

"Health management is really starting to become a bigger part of weight management," said Karen Smith, R.D. "The key is to make small, sustainable changes that can last a lifetime. Drinking lowfat or fat free milk as a part of a healthy daily eating plan and walking more every day are two easy adjustments that can go a long way in supporting a healthy weight."

Weighing in on the American Diet

A new report called Weighing in on the American Diet found that the number of adults who say they are on a diet has steadily decreased over the past decade. The study, conducted by The NPD Group in collaboration with the Milk Processor Education Program, found the majority of Americans say they are on a diet for their health and their weight; 68 percent say "feeling healthier" is why they're dieting.

People who are watching their weight, however, are making less than optimal beverage choices. Coffee, soft drinks, teas and juices are most likely filling their glasses and cups, with milk being the fifth most frequently consumed beverage -- only 14 percent of all beverage occasions. The report found that adult dieters who made drinking lowfat or fat free milk a daily habit were more likely to have a healthier body mass index (BMI), a better quality diet and were less likely to feel nutrient-deprived, compared to dieters who didn't.

Milk supplies two nutrients, that along with physical activity, are especially important when cutting calories -- calcium to prevent bone loss and protein to help build muscle mass. Studies suggest that drinking the recommended three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day along with a healthy diet can help maintain a healthy weight. Researchers have also found that people with higher intakes of milk tend to be leaner and are less likely to gain excess weight than those who drink little or no milk.

Milk - The Beverage with Your Health Interests at Heart

People who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to be at risk for weight-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. In addition, some studies have linked meeting the recommendations for lowfat and fat free milk along with eating fruits and vegetables to a lower risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, as part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association 2007 Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women emphasize eating fresh fruits, vegetables and lowfat milk and milk products.

"I always encourage people to include three servings of lowfat or fat free milk as part of a heart-healthy diet and to walk everyday," said Karen Smith. "With nine essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, protein and potassium, milk is a great way to get a nutrient boost."

Detroit Pledges to Maintain a Healthy Weight

As part of milk's proud support for the American Heart Association's Start! Heart Walks in cities across the country, the Campaign for Healthy Weight will be at the Start! Heart Walk this Saturday, May 17 to rally Americans to eat right, move more and milk their diets. Participants will be able to sample delicious, heart-healthy lowfat and fat free milk from local processor, Prairie Farms, along with other fun, free, got milk? giveaways.

To learn more about the Campaign for Healthy Weight and the findings from the Weighing in on the American Diet report, log onto Visitors to the site can take the healthy weight pledge, get tips on how to maintain a healthy weight and find out if their beverage choices may be derailing their efforts.

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

SOURCE The Milk Processor Education Program
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