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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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News

A woman stands behind a kitchen counter of breakfast toast and toppings.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness September 13, 2021

Don’t think of breakfast as a meal that has to take a long time to prepare. One of my favorite breakfast meals is toast. I start with whole-grain toasted bread as my foundation to build a healthy meal with lots of fun, tasty, and nutritious toppings. 

Medical worker in protective clothing takes a throat swab from a male patient.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health, Coronavirus September 10, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The risk of infection and hospitalization from COVID-19 is significantly higher in unvaccinated people, but some fully vaccinated people are also being infected due to the contagiousness of the delta variant of the virus.

Though no vaccine is 100% effective, it is the best method to avoid contracting the virus or suffering a severe illness from a breakthrough infection, said Dr. Tami Brooks, Starkville physician and retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine.

sliced bell peppers and cucumbers on a plate
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Nutrition and Wellness August 23, 2021

Whether you are tailgating or celebrating your favorite team at home this fall, food is always a part of the festivities. If you want to have some lighter fare at your gathering, this Spinach Dip Makeover will fit perfectly.

Two girls coloring.
Filed Under: Coronavirus August 19, 2021

With the uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, it’s not uncommon to hear of loved ones and friends who have been infected or who are in quarantine due to exposure. Children, especially, may be confused, worried, and afraid about classmates, friends, and family members who are sick.

A woman stands in a kitchen with food products on the counter.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness August 9, 2021

You’ve likely heard natural sugar is okay, while added sugars should be limited. But what's the difference and why does it matter?

Success Stories

Two masked women with glasses and brown hair holding a brown bag.
4-H, Commercial Horticulture, Healthy Homes Initiative, Food and Health, Health, Coronavirus, Nutrition
Volume 7 Number 2

Extension Brown Bags flying off shelves in DeSoto County

Mississippi State University Extension agents in DeSoto County are partnering with public librarians throughout the county to distribute Extension Brown Bags to members of the community. Extension has offered a range of educational programs at these libraries, so joining with them to expand the giveaways was a natural choice.

Four people stand behind a recently cut large red ribbon on a new bridge over a body of water.
Food and Health, Health, Coronavirus, Natural Resources, Water, Water Quality
Volume 7 Number 2

Extension distributes 78,000 masks in Mississippi

When a federal agency made mass shipments of thousands of masks available nationally, the Extension health director in Washington, D.C., Dr. Roger Rennekamp, reached out to his longtime colleague Dr. David Buys, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

An smiling elderly woman stands next to a window.
Health and Wellness, Health
Volume 3 Number 2

Extension program keeps Wiggins residents moving

People know they can maintain healthy, active lifestyles with regular movement, and women in Stone County have been following that advice for years. When Barbara O’Hara moved to Wiggins from the Gulf Coast, she wanted to continue participating in an exercise class. She was delighted to find an announcement for the Strong Bones, Strong Women program in the local newspaper.

A woman in a grocery store holding a blue basket filled with produce like leafy green lettuce.
Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness, Nutrition
Volume 1 Number 1

Eating Healthier, Living Better

With a business to run and five active children, Alberta Cheval never spent much time in the kitchen.

Three smiling women.
Health and Wellness, Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Nutrition and Wellness
Volume 7 Number 1

Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods

Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.

Select Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist
Portrait of Ms. Qula Madkin
Extension Instructor