Mobile Launches New Health Initiative

Mobile Launches New Health Initiative

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Mobile Mayor Sam Jones Mobile Mayor Sam Jones

Dancing to Micheal Jackson's, Man in the Mirror, students from Dunbar Magnet School and the Boys and Girls Club kicked off the Live Better Mobile Initiative that aims to help people make healthier lifestyle choices.

"It is time for us to take our blinders off as a community and recognized that though we have much to be proud of, and much to look forward to, we are still one of the fattest, smokiest counties in the nation, with more teen mothers, than the vast majority of counties across the nation and across our own state," said Alvertha Penny with the Comm. Foundation of South Alabama.

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, other city leaders and organizations are behind the launch to address a recent report shows mobile leads not only our state, but the nation, when it comes to adult obesity, adult smoking and teen pregnancy.

Here's a look at the numbers: 32 percent of Mobilians are obese compared to a national average of 25 percent. 24 percent are smokers compared to 14 percent for the national average and pregnancy out of every one thousand teenagers, 61 of them have given birth. The national average is 22.

Marie Chastang is the director of the Mobile County Health Department's Teen Center. Her goal for the new initiative is to see the number of births rates drop by 10 percent by 2015.

"Teen pregnancy affects every facet of life in mobile county. It affect high school drop out rates, the poverty rates for these children being born to teen mothers," said Chastang.

The Director of Pediatrics at the USA's Children's and Women's Hospital tells me diabetes, high blood pressure and a lifetime risk of stroke and heart disease can result from poor dieting. He also says many of his younger patients are dealing with illnesses that are avoidable.

"We see a number of children with asthma and other respiratory related disorders that can be aggravated by secondary smoke exposure. So we do try to educate our parents about passive smoke," said Dr. David Gremse.

To find out more about the initiative visit livebettermobile.org.

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