Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marion County's "I Love ME" Program

Today, on the steps of the state Capitol, Marion County officially launched it's "I Love ME" campaign to fight obesity and diabetes in the county. Senators Peter Courtney and Jackie Winters, together with other key community members, have joined forces to raise awareness and turn Marion County into a healthier place.

For all of our state's reputation for local, healthy foods and outdoor activities, obesity and diabetes are severe problems in Oregon, just as they are across the nation.

"In a 2009 report to lawmakers, the Office of Oregon Health Policy and Research said:

-One in four eighth-graders was overweight.

-Nearly one in three 11th-graders had weight problems.

-Six in 10 adults were overweight or obese.

-One in three adults has high cholesterol, a key risk factor for heart disease.

The diabetes death rate has increased 76.5 percent since 1990. Yet Oregonians are doing little to help themselves. Large percentages don't regularly exercise or eat vegetables and fruits." - www.statesmanjournal.com, Join 'I Love Me' initiative and fight obesity

Those numbers are discouraging, but with motivated, influential members of the community working together, we can make a change. In schools across the state, we see first hand the effects of unhealthy, high calorie and fat foods served daily to children. Many schools, for budgetary reasons, have cut their physical education program. If we want to provide our children with a better future and a healtier lifestyle, this simply cannot continue.

Perhaps this will be the year we can all agree that it is time to stand together and demand something better.

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