West Virginia’s high obesity rate is at the root of the state’s high diabetes and heart disease numbers, medical experts say. Signs at the mouth of Cabin Creek in Chelyan highlight a modern dilemma.
Seven of West Virginia’s poorest counties cooked healthy meals from scratch five days a week, the entire 2011-12 school year. In a statewide pilot project, the number of children eating school breakfast doubled, and the amount of federal funding has jumped 38 percent. Next year, state officials want to expand.
Mingo County schools have doubled the number of students eating breakfast and lunch. “We’re cooking for a lot more kids this year,” said veteran head cook Lena Lackey. They’re also making food from scratch, five days a week. Yes, she said, it’s more work than heat-and-serve, “but it’s the only solid meals some of our kids get.”
This disease causes heart attacks and leads to strokes, blindness, arm and leg amputations, nerve damage, kidney failure, liver failure. It kills people early. It’s starting to attack children. And it’s everywhere in West Virginia./
Amputation, blindness, kidney disease: a portrait of several West Virginians whose lives have been forever changed by diabetes and a look at West Virginia’s kidney dialysis situation in the face of soaring numbers who need it.
In the latest Gallup Healthways ranking, West Virginia had the nation’s worst scores in 10 out of 12 categories. This state does not have to stay that way. Indeed, it seems plenty of West Virginians are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Continue reading