Heavy news for the Lehigh Valley

August 12, 2008 3:46:48 PM PDT
A new study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the Lehigh Valley has some unhealthy habits.

The CDC says, when compared to cities and regions across the country, people in the Lehigh Valley are more likely to smoke and binge drink.

In addition, the obesity rate is more than two percentage points higher than the national average.

A man who only identified himself as "Slim" says, he finds the report offensive.

"I don't trust anything the government does. I don't," Slim told Action News "I never saw a guy from the CDC here. Who did they call?"

The CDC says it called hundreds of people in the area.

For it's part, the Allentown Health Department says they're calling on people to turn things around. In fact, they just received an $80,000 grant from the CDC to be used to help people improve their bodies and communities.

Tina Amato, from the Allentown Health Department, says they have a number of plans to help people shape up.

"For instance, trying to get more community gardens going," Amato said. "You' re hearing more about putting calorie levels posted on menu boards in fast food chains. We're thinking about moving in that direction."

Amato says the health department hopes to get local physicians to spend more time educating their patients about eating habits and exercise.

On the bright side, the Lehigh Valley is still far from the bottom of the list.

That distinction goes to Memphis, Tennessee. The CDC found it's a place with an inflated numbers of smokers and binge drinkers. It also has an obesity rate that of 34.8%.

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