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How 4 states are fighting obesity: Physicians and state public health officials are targeting younger populations to encourage healthy weights and physical activity.

October 28, 2012
by Jennifer Lubell
American Medical News

In states like Mississippi, old food habits die hard.

Residents joke that “if anything happens, you bring food. And it’s usually a ham,” said Mississippi State Health Officer Mary Currier, MD, MPH. “Trying to change that food culture to bringing something other than a ham is very difficult.”

As the state with the highest per-capita rate of obesity in the U.S. in 2011, with more than a third of its residents obese, Mississippi is under tremendous pressure to change its culture on food and exercise to ensure the health and well-being of future generations. A September report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projected that two out of three Mississippi residents will be obese in 2030 if the current trajectory persists.

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