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Wellness Focus for March: Nutrition, Colorectal Cancer, Kidney Health & more

National Nutrition Month - sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The 2013 theme, "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day," encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

Download nutrition tip sheets, recipes, and activity handouts to share with your employees. Another excellent resource is MyPlate.gov, which offers a free food tracker, tips for eating healthy on a budget, food plans, sample menus, and more.

Colorectal cancer prevention - Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It’s as common in women as it is in men. This year, over 142,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and an estimated 50,830 will die of the disease. With certain types of screening, this cancer can be prevented by removing polyps (grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) before they become cancerous. Several screening tests detect colorectal cancer early, when it can be more easily and successfully treated.
According to the CDC, if everyone who is 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.

Symptoms for colorectal cancer may include:

  • Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement)
  • Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away
  • Losing weight and you don't know why
For more resources see: Colorectal cancer prevention & education.

National Kidney Month and Thursday, March 14 is World KIdney Day. One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease. There are more than 26 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed. Take the Are You at Risk Quiz

The National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) offers free screening for those at risk - anyone 18 years and older with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease. Find a KEEP Screening near you and call to see if you are eligible.

Other Health Observances in March
Save Your Vision Month and Workplace Eye Wellness Month - this year's focus is on eye safety at the computer, and preventing Computer Vision Syndrome.

March 3-10 - National Sleep Awareness Week, which celebrates the health benefits of sleep.

March 3-9, 2013 - National Problem Gambling Awareness Week - Research finds that 2%-3% of the US population will have a gambling problem in any given year. That’s 6 million to 9 million Americans.

March 11-17 - Brain Awareness Week

March 17 - 23 - National Poison Prevention Week

March 18 - 22 - National Youth Violence Prevention Week

March 26 - American Diabetes Association Alert Day - educational and promotional materials available in English and Spanish.

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ESI EAP offers 24-7 access to counselors and a wide variety of support resources for employees and family members who are facing difficult health challenges. We also offer wellness benefits and health risk assessments, including discounts for weight loss programs, exercise and nutrition programs, and stop smoking programs. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.

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