State health commissioner promotes healthy eating during Dutchess visit


Rolison (center), Molinaro (right) encourage kids to eat healthy

POUGHKEEPSIE – State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker was in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday to talk about eating healthy as part of National Public Health Week.
The annual observance is designed to recognize the contributions and importance of public health. Communities from across the country use the week to highlight issues that are important to improving the nation. 
Dr. Zucker joined Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison to speak to Poughkeepsie school children and senior citizens about the importance of eating healthy.  Mayor Rolison recognized that daily schedules can make healthy eating an arduous task but encouraged everyone in the room to “try, every day, to eat healthy.”
Molinaro explained that healthier food choices are often hard to find for lower income families as well as people that live on the eastern end of the county.  In keeping with his pledge to make Dutchess the healthiest county in the state, he announced several partnerships to bridge the gap between certain demographics and healthy food. 
“Can we be the healthiest county in the State of New York,” Molinaro asked, seeking an affirmative cheer.
Among the new relationships, Molinaro said that the Poughkeepsie School District, along with the City of Poughkeepsie, and the county’s Office for the Aging are working with the Poughkeepsie Plenty Farm Fresh Market, run by Dutchess Outreach, to make it easier for people to access healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables. 
Another partnership that is in beta to get Poughkeepsie school kids eating healthier is the one with Poughkeepsie’s Indoor Organic Gardens which have been supplying organic micro-greens to the schools for consumption by the kids.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there is a direct link between poor nutrition and many of the leading causes of death in America, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
In speaking with the multigenerational audience, Dr. Zucker spent time stressing the need for healthy eating to prevent sickness.  He also took time to read a book to the children, “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” which subtly explains the importance of being healthy.