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New York State launches campaign to fight obesity

New York State, where obesity has become a more serious health problem, on Monday launched a statewide campaign to fight the condition.

"Obesity remains a challenging public health issue in New York State, and today we are taking new steps to help fight this epidemic," New York State Governor Cuomo said in a written statement.

"Fighting obesity starts with learning about healthy food choices and engaging in physical activity, and this week we are highlighting this message in communities across the state as part of our efforts to build a healthier New York," said Cuomo, in reference to this year's 20th anniversary of National Public Health Week.

Acting State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will lead a tour throughout the state visiting organizations working on community-wide initiatives that address obesity and lack of physical activity.

In addition to the statewide tour, the state Department of Health will also be providing health tips through social media under the hashtag #GetFitNYS.

Obesity, the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, has also reached epidemic levels in New York State, where a quarter of adults are obese and another 35.9 percent are overweight, affecting an estimated 8.7 million people.

Overweight and obesity affect 40 percent of New York City public school students aged 6-12 years and 32 percent of students throughout the rest of the state.

Not only have some of the obesity- and overweight-caused diseases become increasingly prevalent in children and adolescents, but they have also led to New York being ranked second among states for medical expenditures attributable to obesity.

New York State invests significant resources to reduce obesity using evidence-based public health approaches, which include everything from providing access to healthy and affordable foods in schools to finding opportunities to promote physical activity through complete streets policies.


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