Kaine Attends Health Summit in Charlottesville

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

September 17, 2008

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine spent Wednesday afternoon in Charlottesville to address obesity, a growing problem across the nation, and here in Virginia.

Wednesday a the University of Virginia, Governor Tim Kaine and a group of people from around the world, talked about the need for new approaches to tackle the issue of obesity.

Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., Former Dean of the UVa Medical School," says, "obesity is about to cause the United States to have a lower life expectancy for the first time since the Civil War.

Governor Kaine spoke on the issue's impact here in Virginia," In most areas I can tell you a good news story about Virginia but in many health areas, we're not at the top and we're not in the middle, we're even in the bottom half."

Governor Kaine explained, about two in three people in Virginia are overweight or obese.

"Some of the obesity statistics particularly among young people are troubling, they not only tell you a bad story about today...they tell you a likely challenging story about tomorrow," Kaine adds.

He says the problem is two fold; poor nutrition and poor exercise. The key is finding a way to market a change in lifestyle in a way to get kids excited about it.

"I think we have to figure out a way to really push messages that focus on better nutrition and better exercise, and it's been tough to do," says Kaine.

The group hopes to try new ideas and hear stories of success.

"What we will do is take the best of what we learned back here, hopefully the people from overseas will learn from us as well," says Dr. Garson.

UVa gave an example of successful advertising. They tried color coding snacks and drinks. They say the ones marked as high calorie sold less. The ones marked as lower calorie, sold more. They say they're going to try this approach in Charlottesville schools too.

Wednesday was the first of three days of the health summit.

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