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All Tennesseans must start eating right, exercising

Staff Report • May 11, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Over a third of adults in this country are obese. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that number will be 43 percent in 2030.

That’s not as bad as some experts have projected in the past, but its still a disturbing figure. The number of Americans who are severely obese (100 pounds or more overweight) is expected to double by 2030.

Half of those severely obese adults will be obese as children. This can cause a lifetime of serious health problems. Obesity and diabetes often go hand in hand. And it is a problem that manifests itself most profoundly in the state’s youngest citizens.

Tennessee is among the top five states in the prevalence of Type II diabetes in children.

There are ways to address the problem. Regular physical activity provides a number of health benefits for children, teenagers and adults, including improvements in muscle strength and a reduction in the risk factors for chronic diseases. Doctors say exercise, along with a nutritious diet, is the key to shedding both pounds and health risks.

Unfortunately, too many children in this state will spend most of their days this summer with a computer mouse or video game controller in their hands instead of a golf club, baseball bat or fishing rod. That must change.

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