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State of Health in Mississippi

Concerns

Many of Mississippi’s health indicators are not good:

  • In 2014, Mississippi was ranked last in the nation in overall health
  • We are third in the nation in the percentage of adults with diabetes (2013)
  • We have the highest rate of heart disease deaths in the country (2013)

Factors contributing to poor health measures include:

  • 69% of Mississippi adults, and 40% of our children, are overweight or obese (2013/2011)
  • Mississippi's teen birth rate exceeds the U.S. rate by 60% (2013).  In 2012, 12.6% of all babies in Mississippi were born to teens
  • Highest percentage of high school students in the nation not meeting recommended physical activity levels (2013)

Mississippi's mortality rates for each of the 4 leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – exceed the national averages

Opportunities

Lifestyle changes can affect your state of health.  Consider the following:

  • Physically active people have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use is the single largest contributor to preventable premature death in the United States
  • Poor diet is considered a leading contributor to such health concerns as diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and obesity
  • It has been estimated that a third of premature deaths in the U.S. are due to poor nutrition and physical inactivity

How MSU Extension Service Can Help

  • Educate you and your organization on adopting healthy habits
  • Guide you to becoming a Master Wellness Volunteer helping others to live a healthier life
  • Help you organize a local group to focus on a community health priority

What You Can Do

Visit the following parts of our web site to help get you started on the path to a healthier life:

  • Publications and media – read or request a copy of material to help you get started
  • Master Wellness Volunteer – find out how you can learn to help others improve their health
  • Contact information – talk to your local MSU Extension Service agent for more information on programs and opportunities to enhance your health and that of your community

Recognize that even though today may be the day that you vow to begin living a healthier life, sometimes it takes a little help from your friends – Call your county office of MSU Extension Service; we care and we are there to help!

References:

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Publications

Publication Number: P3430
Publication Number: M2362
Publication Number: M2361

News

Graphic with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Filed Under: Health August 7, 2020

It’s hot! And the heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Learn to recognize the signs that tell you your body is overheating.

Graphic showing kids wearing masks with tips for parents.
Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Health, Coronavirus July 28, 2020

If your children are headed back to the classroom, they may be required to wear a mask. We have some tips to help you and your children get ready for this new rule.

Three students wear face masks as they sit at their desks.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Family, Children and Parenting, Health, Coronavirus July 28, 2020

Parents can help children understand how to stay healthy at school amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they prepare for the start of the academic year.

Large nets converge on a boat with two men aboard.
Filed Under: Catfish, Catfish Marketing, Coronavirus July 17, 2020

Cash flow challenges are the latest struggle for Mississippi catfish producers, as product sales to their biggest consumers -- restaurants -- are way down due to COVID-19.

Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, AIM for CHangE, Nutrition July 15, 2020

David Buys, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and state health specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is being honored as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

Success Stories

A woman wearing a blue collared jacket stands in the fruit aisle of a grocery store.
Peanuts, Irrigation, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs, The PROMISE Initiative, Nutrition, EFNEP
Volume 5 Number 2

In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.

A close up shot of the gears and bottom of a fluorescent green bike parked in a parking lot.
Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Health
Volume 5 Number 1

Start small, but start today. That’s what Scott Stokes was thinking last year when he brought out his bicycle after a 12-year hiatus and started riding again. A new Mississippi State University Extension Service program encouraged him to get back on track. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

The silhouettes of two cyclists are seen in front of a blue and yellow sunrise that reflects on a lake below.
Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Health
Volume 5 Number 1

Winston 100 Wellness on Wheels cyclists ride through the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge as the sun rises over a cool fall 2018 morning.

A woman wearing a white visor, maroon shirt, jeans, and boots marks a clipboard as five cows and three calves rest under a tree.
About Extension, Beef, Marketing and Business Planning, Rural Development, Food, Food Safety, Health, Nutrition, Rural Health
Volume 4 Number 3

See what's new in Extension: Gather for First Extension Beef-Production Workshop, the Food Factor Goes Digital, Extension Professionals Share Expertise, and Extension Offers New HappyHealthy Program. 

Red potatoes in a biodegradable basket are flanked on either side by green snap beans.
Agri-tourism, Culinary Tourism, Local Food System Economies, Farmers Markets, Economic Development, Rural Development, Food, Health, Nutrition, Rural Health, Vegetable Gardens
Volume 4 Number 2

From the youngest to the oldest generations, thousands of people are visiting, shopping, and enjoying themselves at the Hernando Farmers’ Market, held Saturdays on the historic DeSoto County Courthouse lawn.

The market has more than just fresh produce. It connects the community by uniting the shoppers, producers, and artisans who come.

Listen

Friday, January 24, 2020 - 5:45am
Friday, January 17, 2020 - 5:45am
Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - 7:00am
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 7:00am

Select Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist