CDC urges Miss. schools to stay on health path

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged Mississippi education leaders to continue initiatives aimed at fighting obesity and tobacco use in the state’s schools.

The CDC recently released a report showing Mississippi has made significant progress in reducing student access to tobacco and unhealthy snacks on school grounds.

Dr. Howell Weschler, director of the CDC’s division of adolescent and school health, said Mississippi had become a role model for the nation, but warned against complacency. He said the obesity epidemic is the No. 1 public health challenge of our time.

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Mississippi has had the nation’s highest obesity rates since 2004, but officials are encouraged by what’s happening in the public schools.