Massachusetts unveils Mass in Motion wellness effort

by Staff
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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services (E.O.H.H.S.) this month launched Mass in Motion, a multi-faceted effort that will promote a broad range of wellness activities for Massachusetts residents, businesses and communities.

While Massachusetts compares favorably to other states in terms of overweight and obesity, the state’s rates have been on the rise in recent years. As a result, Governor Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts and his administration decided to act with a sense of urgency to address the issue.

"The trends that we are seeing are troubling," said John Auerbach, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "Unless we make progress, overweight and obesity will overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in Massachusetts. That should get everyone’s attention focused on the problem. This groundbreaking initiative will be the framework for us to work with our partners throughout the state to make progress toward solutions."

As part of Mass in Motion, the government will provide nearly $750,000 in grants to support local activities such as providing healthier meals in schools, expanding the availability of farmers’ market or supermarkets in low income neighborhoods. In addition, plans are in place to develop and pass public health regulations to promote healthy diet and exercise, including caloric menu labeling for large chain restaurants and body mass index testing of students in all public schools.

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