Schools are not only places of learning, but they are also worksites. Fostering school employees’ physical and mental health protects school staff, and by doing so, helps to support students’ health and academic success. Healthy school employees—including teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria and custodial staff, and contractors—are more productive and less likely to be absent. They serve as powerful role models for students and may increase their attention to students’ health. Schools can create work environments that support healthy eating, adopt active lifestyles, be tobacco free, manage stress, and avoid injury and exposure to hazards (e.g., mold, asbestos). A comprehensive school employee wellness approach is a coordinated set of programs, policies, benefits, and environmental supports designed to address multiple risk factors (e.g., lack of physical activity, tobacco use) and health conditions (e.g., diabetes, depression) to meet the health and safety needs of all employees. Partnerships between school districts and their health insurance providers can help offer resources, including personalized health assessments and flu vaccinations. Employee wellness programs and healthy work environments can improve a district’s bottom line by decreasing employee health insurance premiums, reducing employee turnover, and cutting costs of substitutes.
The Ferguson-Florissant School District will offer other school based activities to promote wellness for staff. A sub-committee of the District Wellness Council will identify staff wellness issues, and disseminate wellness resources in addition to performing other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with the FFSD human resources staff. Schools will implement strategies to support staff in actively promoting and modeling healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. FFSD promotes staff member participation in health promotion programs and will support programs for staff members on heatlhy eating/weight management that are accessible and free or low-cost.
Employee Program Leads to 1800 Pound Weight Loss
Ferguson-Florissant School District participates in a free program (Real Appeal) for all participants in the district’s benefits package! This program can help individuals manage risk for developing type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease through on-line support, a free app, and access to a transformation coach. We are excited to announce that participates, to date, have lost 1800 pounds collectively. Congratulations to all members who have accomplished this incredible feat. Research shows that even a mild reduction in weight (7%-10%) can help reduce risk for developing type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Having on-line support can help you accomplish your health goals, whether it is to be more active, make better nutrition choices, or manage stress.
Congratulations, again, the participants that have been working hard towards their weight loss and health goals!
Alert Day- March 27th, 2018
We care about you—which is why Ferguson-Florissant School District is participating in American Diabetes Association® Alert Day®.
One in three American adults is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a serious disease that can lead to complications like kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness, and amputations. But type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be permanent—it can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle modifications. The first step is learning your risk.
On this alert day, we encourage you to take a simple and anonymous one-minute test to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. You’ll answer questions such as, “Do you have a family history of diabetes?” and “Are you physically active?” to learn your diabetes risk in 60 seconds. It’s that simple.
Once you’ve taken the test, share it with friends and family—with 84 million Americans at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, someone you love could be at risk.
We hope you’ll join us by learning your type 2 diabetes risk this year for Alert Day, and help others do the same. Be sure to check out the attached information about next steps if you find you are at risk.
Please be sure to follow our Facebook Page @fergflorwellness and our employee wellness website https://www.fergflor.org/Page/3497 for more information about staying active and well.
Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February- American Heart Month
Know Your Numbers
Many of you may have heard that high cholesterol can raise your risk for heart disease and stroke. Your doctor may recommend having a lipid panel (which includes a measure of total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) done every year to stay on top of any issues. Your cholesterol numbers alone are not enough to predict your risk of heart disease. They are an important part of a larger picture that includes your age, blood pressure, and smoking status. Now that you know why to have a lipid panel done lets review what your numbers really mean.
LDL cholesterol stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and is sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol. I also like to refer to this one as lousy and keep it low. HDL cholesterol stands for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “good” cholesterol. I like to remember this one as being happy and high. Triglycerides are fats carried in the blood from the food we eat. Excess calories, alcohol, or sugar in the body are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells throughout the body.
LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase the chances of getting heart disease. This is why you will often hear LDL cholesterol called “bad cholesterol”. Diet and exercise can help keep your LDL cholesterol lower.
HDL cholesterol “good cholesterol” a higher number means a lower risk for heart disease. This type of cholesterol takes “bad” cholesterol out of your blood keeping it from building up in your arteries.
Triglycerides are the form of most fat in the body.
Your total cholesterol is a measure of LDL, HDL and other lipid components. Your doctor will utilize this number along with other factors when determining your risk for heart disease and the best way to manage it. Be sure to speak with your doctor about what your numbers are and what they mean for you.
Check out the chart below for important numbers associated with a risk of heart disease. Eating a nutritious diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with staying physically active can help you manage your cholesterol numbers and lower your risk for heart disease.
Image courtsey of www.heart.org
Information adapted from www.webmd.com and www.heart.org
Facts on Fats
What we eat can affect our LDL cholesterol. Having a lower LDL cholesterol number can reduce our risk for heart disease and stroke. Your body naturally produces the LDL cholesterol you need. Eating foods that contain saturated fat and trans-fat cause your body to make even more LDL beyond what is needed. Below you will find important information you need to know about selection of fats as part of the foods you eat.
The majority of saturated fat eaten comes from animal sources such as skin on chicken, whole or 2% milk and whole milk dairy products, beef, lamb, pork, cream, and butter. Plant sources of saturated fat are found in coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kern oil, and cocoa butter. The American Heart Association recommends individuals that need to lower their cholesterol limit saturated fat intake to no more than 5-6% of total daily calories. Saturated fats have been linked to an increase in LDL cholesterol.
Trans-fats are created through a man-made process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid (increase shelf stability). You may see trans-fats listed at “partially hydrogenated oils”. Trans-fats are found in many fried foods and baked goods like pie crusts, cookies, and crackers. Trans-fats raise your LDL cholesterol and LOWER YOUR HDL cholesterol. Such a strong association with negative impact on our health, the FDA has required trans-fat content to be listed on the nutrition facts panel. In recent years, many food companies and fast food restaurants have announced they will no longer use trans-fats to fry foods. Please make note that even if something is trans-fat free, it does not mean that it is saturated fat free which also has a strong association with increased LDL cholesterol.
Companies must label measurable amounts of trans-fats (which are listed at 0.5 grams or more per serving) as a separate line found under saturated fat on a nutrition facts panel. This means if a packaged food contains trans-fat under 0.5 grams per serving, they do not have to list it. Therefore, it is crucial that you look at the ingredient list to see if “partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils” are listed. If they are, eating more than one serving could add a measurable amount of trans-fat to your day.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the two unsaturated fats. They are mainly found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. Unsaturated fats are also found in avocados, olives, walnuts, and liquid vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil. Both types of unsaturated fats may improve cholesterol when used in place of saturated fats.
Tips for eating less saturated and trans-fat
- Make fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat (or fat-free) dairy, lean protein, and nuts the major emphasis of your daily food intake.
- Swap red meat for white meat chicken, poultry, or fish.
- Look for processed foods that have been made with un-hydrogenated oils.
- Check nutrition facts panels for products containing trans-fats; check the ingredient list for hydrogenated oils.