‘The Shape We’re In’: An introduction

West Virginia is at or near the top of nearly every chronic disease ranking: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension, many more.

It doesn’t have to stay that way.

For now, one in four West Virginia 11-year-olds has high “bad” cholesterol. One in five has high blood pressure.  Almost one in three is obese. One in six kindergartners is obese.

We can do something about that.

West Virginia’s adult obesity rate is predicted to double to more than 60 percent by 2030, if nothing changes. We can change it.winnerbadge

As one state health official said, “This is a public health emergency.” Learn about the problems, meet people and communities trying to bring those numbers down, and find out what you can do in this Charleston Gazette series.

TEACHERS: This site has been developed as a classroom resource for higher education teachers. Here are some ways to use these stories in your classroom. We welcome your feedback and ideas!


This Charleston Gazette series was supported by a Dennis A. Hunt fellowship, administered by the California Endowment for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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