Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obesity/overweight Rates Have Doubled In South Carolina Since 1990 - June Proclaimed Obesity Awareness Month

“In South Carolina, where Gov. Mark Sanford has officially proclaimed June as Obesity Awareness Month, obesity rates have more than doubled since 1990,’ said Erika Kirby, director of DHEC's Division of Obesity Prevention and Control. ‘Sixty-five percent of South Carolina adults are obese or overweight, and more than 31 percent of high school students in the state are overweight or obese.’ Kirby said in some South Carolina communities, rates of overweight and obesity are now more than 40 percent among children and adolescents. ‘Obesity is a complex condition, influenced by behavioral, environmental and biological factors, that increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and other chronic diseases,’ Kirby said. According to Kirby, a resource called "Options for Action" has been developed to guide implementation of the state's obesity plan. ‘It serves as a valuable tool that can provide guidance to communities as they become more supportive of healthful nutrition and physical activity,’ Kirby said. For more information about South Carolina's obesity prevention partnership, ‘Eat Smart, Move More SC,’ and the "Options for Actions," see DHEC's Web page.”

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