Obesity levels in Mississippi are still high according to the Mississippi Department of Health. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on an initiative to help bring the state closer to good health.
Organizations from around the state are working to fight obesity as part of the Governor's Obesity Initiative. Roughly one-third of Mississippians are obese and more than half are overweight---that’s according to Doctor Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer. He says members of the initiative are educating communities around the state on how to make real change and reduce obesity in the state.
“We’re talking about integrating into the communities on day to day basis. Working with mayors, working boards of supervisors, working with city councils, working with churches. Groups that are in people’s lives every day. We wanna work with those folks to make sure that we can promote healthy living opportunities.”
Sandra Shelson is the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
She wants to see children and teens establish good habits to improve their health in school and at home.
“While there is a requirement for K-8 to have 150 minutes of physical activity every week, many of our schools don’t have physical education teachers. Physical education is more than just go out and run around in the yard, you know. So, we’re just trying to help come up with a way for them to have meaningful physical education in their school.”
Mississippi still ranks second in the nation for obesity rates.