TN initiative aims to improve health and wellness - WSMV News 4

TN initiative aims to improve health and wellness

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It's no secret that obesity is a big problem in Tennessee, especially among children. Now, the governor has created a new campaign to change that, and you'll be hearing a lot about it.

It's a new statewide push meant to help Tennessee move up in the ranks of healthiest states.

"The fact that we're consistently ranked in the bottom tier compared to other states in health outcomes is just not acceptable. We're too great of a state to not be one of healthiest," said Rick Johnson, president and CEO of the Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness.

Johnson says it's about all of us making little adjustments every day.

The campaign is focusing on three key points: getting people to exercise 30 minutes five times a week; eat healthy - including fruits, veggies and proper portion size; and stop tobacco use all together.

They are little changes that organizers say can make a big difference down the road.

"If we can get more and more Tennesseans doing those things, we can have a significant impact on the chronic diseases that are caused by current behaviors: Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer," Johnson said.

The organization plans to take the message on the road and wants to help small- and medium-sized businesses implement workplace wellness programs. The nonprofit hopes to have workplace wellness kits available early in the new year.

They also want to help start similar programs in other places like churches.

"It doesn't require a new pill or a new medical device. All of us can take more control, change our patterns a little bit and make some real positive difference in Tennessee," Johnson said.

For more information on the Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness, visit:

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