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Education, Awareness Essential To Fighting Obesity

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KEDM
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Better education and awareness was the developing theme  during a discussion on obesity Tuesday night in KEDM's Policy And A Pint.  Guest panelists and audience members engaged in a talk about how the area is affected by obesity and what's being done to address the issue.

Local nutrition expert Angie O'Pry says consumer education can be aided by better government policy on nutrition labels.  "Large food corporations have  strategies that find loopholes to keep mass-marketing on track," said O'Pry.

Department of Health and Hospitals nutritionist Donna Davis explained that even at the state level lobbying efforts have an impact on food supply to programs such as WIC or SNAP for low-income residents.  "One decision passed down was in favor of Idaho potato growers, to allow white potatoes in these programs.  The department argued that other varieties were healthier options," Davis said.

The role of insurance companies with wellness programs continues to broaden in hopes of positive health outcomes for policy members.  Vantage Health Plan's Tabitha Hendon says "not only do we see incentives for members to track their own fitness activity, but doctors are being encouraged to track and monitor a patient's progress to receive incentives as care providers." 

She says many insurance companies are sponsoring wellness programs at no cost for senior citizens to promote good health. 

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