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Health officials release a plan to reduce obesity in the state

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ties the COVID-19 pandemic to an "alarming" increase in obesity in U.S. children and teenagers.
Patrick Sison
Oklahoma health officials released a long-term plan to combat obesity.

Oklahoma health officialsreleased a long-term plan to combat obesity this week.

With more than 36% of its population in the obese weight range, Oklahoma ranks ninth in the nation for obesity rates. The Oklahoma State Department of Health worked with hundreds of partners including nonprofits, tribal governments, and state agencies to draft a long-term policy plan

The 30-page report lays out several problems and potential solutions. Among the problems: Oklahoma kids are less likely than those in the rest of the country to have sidewalks in their neighborhoods, to live near parks and community centers, and to have access to healthy food.

The goals include improving infrastructure in parks, getting the state’s uninsured rate below 10%, establishing an obesity clinic in every county, and creating a BMI registry.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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