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Houston Fights Obesity With New Collaborations

A task force of 22 people will look at how to reduce obesity in the Houston area.

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker launched the task force called Healthy Houston.

The group is charged with making recommendations and implementing actions to reduce obesity and promote healthy eating and exercise.

Parker says the group will examine issues like food deserts, the availability of fresh produce, school and work exercise programs and education.

“In 2010, it was reported that 28 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of adolescents aged 15-18 and 29 percent of adults in Harris County were obese. These factors result in a decreased quality of life, increased medical expenses and a shortened life span.”

Dr. Faith Foreman, Assistant Director of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, will co-chair the task force.

“We have already begun lots of work in the Houston community through our gardens, through our farmers markets, through our many activities focusing on wellness. The task force is looking forward to actually bringing all those things together, closing that loop and actually making Houston a healthier place for people to work, live and play.”

A report from the group Food Trust indicates Houston has fewer supermarkets per capita than most other large cities in the U.S.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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