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W.Va. Unveils Tool to Help Fight Obesity

October 30, 2007
by Tom Breen
Associated Press

West Virginia is hoping that a little wheel can make a big difference in the state's obesity problem. The wheel is a body mass index calculator, a low-tech tool that will be distributed to doctors across the state as part of a new effort to get physicians to recognize obesity early in their patients. The largest provider of Medicaid coverage in the state, the health benefits group UniCare, began offering training Tuesday to doctors and their staffs in obesity prevention and body mass index measurement. West Virginia is the third-heaviest state in the nation. According to the state Bureau for Public Health, more than 30 percent of adults in West Virginia are obese. A national study earlier this year by the Trust For America's Health ranked West Virginia second in the percentage of children who are obese.

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