State officials find ways to fight obesity

By Cam Tran
Published On: Jun 22 2012 10:56:17 PM HST
Updated On: Jun 25 2012 09:27:06 AM HST

Obesity in Hawaii and across the United States is a social epidemic according to a study co-chaired by the University of Hawaii president.

HONOLULU -

The University of Hawaii president studied the impact of obesity on the nation.  M.R.C. Greenwood chaired an Institute of Medicine study which revealed one out of three children and two out of three adults are either overweight or obese.

"If this was a contagious disease, a third of our children would be affected by it." Said Dr. Greenwood. "There would be questions in the minds of the public health community that we had to take action. "

The Department of Health is taking action by kicking off an obesity task force. The group's goal would be to find ways to combat obesity across the islands. Some suggestions include implementing a tax on sugary foods, building more sidewalks and incorporating more physical fitness.

"We need to talk to businesses on how they encourage their employees to be more physically active," said Loretta Fuddy with the Department of Health.

Whatever proposals the task force does decide on will still have to go before the legislative session next year.

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