|NEWS RELEASE||October 10, 2002|
Doctors Launch Healthy Eating Campaign in America’s Least Healthy States
Southern States at Highest Risk
WASHINGTON—Mississippi, West Virginia, and Tennessee top the list of unhealthy states, says the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The group released its list of top 10 unhealthiest states today, kicking off a month-long healthy eating promotion. As part of a multi-faceted education campaign, PCRM is alerting the citizens of these states about healthy eating options by sponsoring free samples of low-fat, vegetarian alternatives in supermarkets, airing public service ads, and offering each state government a nutrition makeover.
“Americans are in the midst of a health crisis and, as a physician, it’s my job to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment options. In this case, it’s a meat-based diet that is putting these folks at risk for diabetes, obesity and heart disease,” says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. “Our studies show that a low-fat, vegetarian diet is the most effective method of treatment and prevention for those diseases. Unfortunately, that prescription has not gotten to those who need it most—the people in these 10 states.”
The list of states ranked in order of least healthy includes:
3. West Virginia
In compiling its list of the top unhealthiest states, PCRM looked at rates of three of the top health-related killers—heart disease, diabetes and obesity. PCRM’s nutrition department analyzed the most recent incidence rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association.
The physicians’ group conducts research studies on diet and health, focusing on the preventive long-term benefits of a low-fat, vegetarian diet. The group just released its second annual School Lunch Report Card evaluating the nation’s largest school lunch programs for nutritional value. In addition, PCRM recently published four new books in a series called Healthy Eating for Life, which focuses on children, women, diabetes prevention and treatment, and cancer prevention and treatment.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.