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Tennessee’s health rate ranks low amongst other states

BC-TN–Editorial Rdp/1004
Tennessee editorial roundup
The Associated Press

Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:

Oct. 21

Jackson (Tenn.) Sun on a healthier Tennessee goal of new foundation:

Tennessee consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to the overall health of the state’s residents. From obesity to smoking-related illnesses to diabetes, stroke and heart disease, Tennessee currently ranks 41st in overall health. The latest effort to reverse this trend is the Governor’s Health and Wellness Foundation, and it is a step in the right direction.

Last week, The Jackson Sun editorial board had the opportunity to visit with the foundation’s CEO Rick Johnson. The foundation is a public/private partnership that has raised millions to get the message out to Tennesseans about the effects of poor lifestyle choices, and to offer help and inspiration to get people on track to more healthful living.

The most striking aspect of Tennessee’s poor health ranking is that most of the causes of poor health are lifestyle choices. In effect, Tennesseans are choosing to be unhealthy. Of course, reversing such a trend is easier said than done and will take time. …

The second area of concern is that too many Tennesseans, and especially children, aren’t getting enough exercise. The foundation recommends getting 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Fortunately, that can be as simple as 30 minutes of brisk walking that even can be done indoors at local shopping malls. Home exercise equipment such as treadmills and elliptical trainers can be used to fit nearly everyone’s schedule. And schools are being encouraged to promote more exercise activities.

Finally, one of the biggest contributors to obesity in Tennessee is poor eating habits. Taking the lead from the foundation, people can use recommendations for eating a more healthful diet. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and even learning to choose more healthful fast food options can make a big difference in people’s eating habits, and lead to weight loss.

Taken together, these three recommendations are simple, doable and results are measurable. The foundation hopes to get its message and its recommendations out to every Tennessean, and it is committed to monitoring long-term results.

Taking these actions can lead to lower health care costs, improved lifestyle, greater longevity, and even to better performance in the workplace. That’s a strong recommendation to give it a try.
–Ronniesia Reed

About Ronniesia Reed, Staff Writer

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