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Summit Focused On Strategies To Combat Obesity

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio

More than 60 percent of Kansans are classified as overweight or obese, and summit in Topeka Thursday was aimed at finding ways to tackle that problem.

Governor Sam Brownback told the gathering about the steps he’s had to take to control his weight - specifically, watching his eating.

Brownback has a simple message for people fighting obesity: don’t give up.

“Most of America struggles with weight at one time or another,” he said. “This is not an unusual situation that you are in or that anybody else is in. We all have, just don’t give up.”

William Dietz, formally with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says no single strategy will solve the problem. 

He said Kansas should look for ways to increase physical activity and make healthier food options available in schools, daycare centers and workplaces.

“And we have to keep reminding ourselves that although we expect people to make healthy choices, we can’t expect them to make healthy choices if those choices are not available” said Dietz.

Dietz says communities should make sure all residents have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and schools and daycare should encourage children to drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.