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Wishing You A Healthy Thanksgiving

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

November 24, 2015

Nov. 24, 2015



Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—Florida State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong has released a special Thanksgiving video message. This Thanksgiving holiday, the Florida Department of Health is also offering Floridians tips for healthier holiday celebrations.

“The department is dedicated to helping Floridians celebrate healthy choices all year round,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to make meals more colorful with fresh fruits and vegetables and spend time being active with family and friends.”

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average Thanksgiving meal includes 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. To burn these calories, a 154-pound man would need to walk for about 11 hours. To make it easier to stay under your calorie budget, the United States Department of Agriculture offers these tips:

  • Focus on the five food groups first: fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy. Fill up your plate with low-sugar, low-sodium, nutrient-dense foods before you eat dessert;
  • Eat fewer empty calories. Empty calories are calories from solid fats, added sugars, or both;
  • Decrease your portion size. Your Daily Food Plan helps you manage your daily intake by recommending the amount of food you need from each food group; and
  • Try to make small, healthy changes. Here are some leaner, healthy recipes from the Mayo Clinic you can enjoy for your Thanksgiving meal.

To help you navigate your holiday feasting and seasonal celebrations, Healthiest Weight Florida, in partnership with North Carolina State University, is offering the “Maintain, Don’t Gain!” Holiday Challenge free for all Floridians. Rather than focusing on trying to lose weight, the seven-week challenge provides participants with tips, tricks and ideas to help maintain their weight throughout the holiday season.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit

About Healthiest Weight Florida

Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. To learn more about how to be active and make nutritious food choices, visit

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