Gov. Bill Haslam is traveling the state this week, officially announcing his new “Healthier Tennessee” initiative, approved by the Legislature in the past session. In timing, it seems appropriate since the Centers for Disease Control this week announced the first evidence of a decline in childhood obesity nationwide – though the child obesity rate actually increased in three states, including Tennessee.
Here’s the AP brief on Haslam’s announcement in Memphis Tuesday and, below that, the national story on childhood obesity rates.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a new statewide health and wellness initiative.
Haslam visited the Church Health Center Memphis on Tuesday to launch the “Healthier Tennessee” program.
Haslam said the initiative will encourage residents to be more physically active and eat nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. The program also asks people to stop using tobacco, or never start.
Haslam noted Tennessee is one of the least healthy states, with high rates of high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
The initiative will bring together employers, health care providers, health insurance companies, schools and community organizations to promote healthier behaviors.
The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, based in Nashville, will direct the initiative.
Haslam plans stops in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Kingsport and Nashville this week to promote the program.