Public health dean to help governor fight childhood obesity

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Obesity Initiative at UGA

When it comes to staying fit, Georgia hasn’t always been the best place for children. Our beloved state used to have the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the U.S.  Fortunately, that rate has since decreased, moving Georgia to spot number 17.  But the state’s fight continues, and UGA’s Phillip Williams, dean of the College of Public Health, is stepping into the ring.

Williams was invited by Gov. Nathan Deal to help guide Georgia’s efforts to fight childhood obesity as a part of the newly formed Governor’s Advisory Council on Childhood Obesity, according to a recent UGA Today press release.

The council will guide Deal in the best ways to reduce the numbers of obese and overweight children, as well as support the governor’s Georgia SHAPE program, an effort to make reducing obesity a priority across the state. Georgia SHAPE includes initiatives like Power Up for 30, a voluntary program that encourages elementary schools around Georgia to add an extra 30 minutes of physical activity into each school day.

“I look forward to leveraging UGA’s assets and expertise in obesity research, instruction and outreach to address this important public health issue,” Williams said.

In addition to Williams, the 16-member council includes Deal; Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; Dr. David Satcher, a former U.S. surgeon general and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director; and other leaders from the fields of public and private health, education, business and nutrition.

Read the rest of the UGA Today press here: http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/public-health-dean-governors-childhood-obesity-advisory-council-0913/.