Friday, May 15, 2009

Weight Called Growing Threat

“State health officials have made some progress in getting people to quit smoking, but they're losing the battle of the bulge. South Carolinians are smoking less than last year, but they're getting fatter, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jenny Sanford, who leads a program called Healthy South Carolina Challenge, drew attention to the news this week. While Gov. Mark Sanford deals with debates over the rising cost of health care, the first lady is trying to keep more people healthy in the first place. ‘Poor lifestyle choices are the primary cause of many chronic diseases that not only decrease quality of life but place an enormous financial strain on our state and its businesses,’ her office said in a statement. Smoking, inactivity and obesity are the easiest targets for officials trying to improve health. ‘Changing individual behavior is the most bang for the buck we can have,’ said Khosrow Heidari, director of chronic disease epidemiology for the DHEC's Bureau of Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention.

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