Gov. Warner Encourages Virginians to Get Healthy
OK, Virginia, it’s time to get fit. That was Gov. Mark Warner’s message in a nutshell at the conclusion of his two-day Governor’s Summit on Healthy Virginians, held at U.Va. Nov. 29 and 30.
Obesity and inactivity among adults and children are serious problems facing all Virginians, he said, citing studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Kaiser Family Foundation that show 24 percent of Virginians are obese, and 19 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.
And while our pants are getting bigger, our wallets are shrinking.
“As taxpayers, $400 million alone, in either employee health care costs or Medicaid recipient costs, are directly attributable to unhealthy lifestyles,” Warner said.
“The fact of the matter is, there is no simple regional or demographic background of the folks who fall into this unhealthy lifestyle category,” he said. “They are black and white, rich and poor, from Northern Virginia, from the South sides, from the cities … it is an issue of national proportions.”
Warner spoke in depth about the recent launch of his Healthy Virginians initiative, in which he is urging state employees, and all Virginians, to step it up and start implementing a healthier lifestyle. Walking for 15 minutes and cutting back on 100 calories each day can improve one’s health, he said.