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Kellogg grant to keep Mississippi in Motion
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is allowing the Mississippi State University Extension Service to expand the fitness and nutrition initiatives of an outreach program launched nearly three years ago.
The grant will be applied to activities within the Mississippi in Motion public campaign that promote nutrition and physical fitness. It also will provide a Web site link to Families, Food and Fitness eXtention, a healthy lifestyles program administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Since its inception in 2007, Mississippi in Motion has recruited more than 12,000 Mississippi participants across counties, school districts and business groups. After following the program for 12 weeks, these participants have enjoyed the benefits of improved eating habits and increased physical activity. The program teaches participants to make healthy food choices and manage portion size. They also learn how to avoid obesity and maintain good health by including exercise in their daily routines.
“We recorded participants’ blood pressure, body weight and blood glucose measurements and saw significant decreases occur in those levels over time,” said Extension professor Jane Clary of the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. Clary is coordinator of the Mississippi in Motion program.
The program uses a team approach to eating and exercise. Health professionals work with team members to monitor their progress and coach them to succeed. They also help participants understand how unhealthy choices have consequences that weaken overall health.
“Mississippi in Motion is a classic example of a research-based program delivered by quality Extension employees to address a need for all Mississippians,” said Benjy Mikel, head of MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. “Receiving this prestigious grant from the Kellogg Foundation to expand this outreach is a testament to the quality program Dr. Clary has implemented throughout the state.”
USDA’s Families, Food and Fitness eXtension Web site provides extensive resources for maintaining good health. The site features eating and exercise issues, a chat area, instructional videos and interactive guides on various topics.
“The eXtension site, which is available 24/7, reinforces information we provide to teachers, individuals, families and health professionals,” Clary said. “It provides the additional social support people need to make changes and create better health outcomes.”
Visit http://www.extension.org/pages/Families_Food_and_Fitness_Community_Page for more information.
Writer: Patti Drapala