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Immunization and Chronic Disease

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness month.   Each year, this observance emphasizes the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Prior to the COVID-19 vaccine we saw the devastating effect of the COVID-19 virus, especially on individuals with chronic conditions.  Today we can help protect those vulnerable populations with a readily available vaccine. Immunizations are a safe and effective way to protect us from diseases like COVID-19 and other highly contagious viruses.

Eat Healthy to Prevent and Manage Chronic Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adults with certain chronic conditions are at higher risk for suffering from severe illness from diseases like COVID-19. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, chronic lung disease, liver disease and heart conditions including high blood pressure. Many of these diseases are caused by behaviors that contribute to poor health such as an unhealthy diet. Choosing a healthy diet is one way to improve your overall health and reduce your risk for chronic disease.  Here are four guidelines to help you get started.

  • Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage. A healthy dietary pattern consists of nutrient-dense forms of foods and beverages from all food groups, in recommended amounts, and within calorie limits.
  • Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and your budget.
  • Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages and stay within calorie limits. Nutrient-dense foods provide vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting components and have little or no added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
    • Added sugars: < 10 percent of calories per day.
    • Saturated fat: < 10 percent of calories per day.
    • Sodium: < 2,300 milligrams per day.
    • Alcoholic beverages—Adults of legal drinking age who choose to drink, should drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less a day for men and 1 drink or less a day for women, when alcohol is consumed.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.(2021, January). Retrieved from https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials