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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 12, 2005
Linda Stewart,  Thurston  County  Public Health and Social Services, 360-786-5581 Ext. 16944

Spotting Healthier Food Options becomes Easier in Thurston County

Olympia- Continuing efforts to encourage taking small steps toward a healthy lifestyle, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is partnering with Top Food and Drug to help area shoppers more easily spot healthier food options.  

As part of a new program called, “The Winner’s Circle,” Top Food will begin labeling food sold in their local Marketplace Cafes on Friday, September 16, 2005.  The Winner’s Circle approach helps shoppers quickly see which menu items are healthier by using a unique “purple star and golden fork” symbol.  Food items carrying the program’s trademark symbol include low-fat and heart-healthy options.  All items carrying the Winner’s Circle label have undergone high quality nutritional analysis conducted by a Registered Dietitian. 

Prevention of chronic disease is a major focus of work being supported by the Public Health and Social Services Department.  According to the Department’s Director, Sherri McDonald, “Developing partnerships with the local business community is essential to improving health.  The progression of some diseases can be slowed or prevented by making healthier lifestyle choices.  Working with Top Food to make choices easier for consumers is a win-win strategy.” 

The Winner’s Circle program was created by North Carolina Prevention Partners, based in Chapel Hill .  The program has been extremely successful throughout North Carolina , where more than 1,000 restaurants and several hundred schools participate in the healthy food-labeling program.  Through the Steps to a Healthier WA/Thurston County project, the Public Health and Social Services Department hopes to expand the program over the next several years. 

Details about “The Winner’s Circle” and other Steps to a Healthier WA/Thurston County projects can be found on the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services web site at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/steps

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3