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NATIONWIDE, OBESITY COSTS ABOUT $300 BILLION PER YEAR SAID DR. KEN ELLZEY, ASSISTANT PHYSICIAN-IN-CHIEF OF HEALTH PROMOTION IN FRESNO. ALMOST ONE-HALF OF THE COSTS ARE FOR DIRECT MEDICAL CARE, BUT EMPLOYEE ABSENTEEISM AND LOST PRODUCTIVITY COST MORE, ELLSEY SAID.
Obesity Calls for a Community Solution
Fresno Bee, Barbara Anderson, 08/28/2012
Obesity in the central San Joaquin Valley is too big a problem for any one institution to solve, but people working together can make communities healthier, Fresno leaders said Tuesday.
"It's a problem we all share and we're all part of the solution," said Deborah Nankivell, chief executive officer of the Fresno Business Council, which organized an obesity panel discussion with Kaiser Permanente Fresno.
More than 100 educators, business owners and other community leaders attended the forum at Fresno State, which began with a 10-minute trailer of the HBO obesity documentary "Weight of the Nation."
Panelists leading the Fresno discussion painted a bleak picture if Valley communities don't join to fight obesity.
One-half of all Hispanic children born in the Valley today will develop diabetes in their lifetimes, said Genoveva Islas-Hooker, coordinator of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Project.
When "Weight of the Nation" was being developed, Islas-Hooker said she led a tour of the Valley for one of the producers. At a stop in Pixley, a woman told them "that her family has buried her aunt in pieces" because of amputations from diabetes. "Our goal should be that we want all people in the Valley to live the full course of their lives," she said.
Editor’s Note: The Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Project is an RWJF grantee through Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/28/2968632/obesity-calls-for-a-com...