Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

November 5, 2012

The obesity epidemic requires action

— — The epidemic of obesity in West Virginia requires a strong call for action. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 percent of people living in West Virginia are considered obese.

The health repercussions of obesity are overwhelming. Obesity-related medical problems include heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Medical care cost of obesity totals billions of dollars each year. Greater efforts are needed to resolve this complex issue.

New federal initiatives can help influence our communities to support healthy eating and an active lifestyle. I would like to inform you of a bill that has been introduced to Congress. The bill is HR 4604 LIFE Act and was introduced in April, 2012.

The bill was created to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for a national program to conduct and support activities toward the goal of reducing the number of cases of obesity among individuals in the United States.

I am particularly interested in the Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise Act or the Life Act, because I believe this bill can promote weight loss by introducing activities for overweight individuals.

The bill requires such activities to include: training health professionals; educating the public; and developing and demonstrating intervention strategies for use at work-sites and in community settings.

Please join me in support of this bill to help decrease the epidemic of obesity.

Ruth Kennedy, RN


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