Unhealthy Oklahoma

By: Jalah Gray Email
By: Jalah Gray Email

DURANT, OK - Research shows Oklahoma is one of the most unhealthy states in the Nation. Today the Oklahoma State Board of Health held a meeting in Durant to figure out how to change that.

State Health Board officials say they're concerned about the future of Oklahoma.
The meeting focused on the 2 leading preventable causes of death, smoking and obesity.
The board says a healthier Oklahoma simply starts with making better choices.

"There's a lot of issues obviously for the state of Oklahoma for health." said board member, Terry Gerard.

"Much of our health care system is really a sick care system, it's about picking up the pieces after somebody's sick." said Terry Cline.

Oklahoma State Health Board Commissioner, Terry Cline, says the 2 leading causes of death in the state can be prevented.

"It's about what we put in our body, and about how physically active we are every single day." Cline said.

Cline says smoking increases the cardiovascular disease death rate, where Oklahoma ranks 48th nationally.

"About 30% of the population smoke, which is very concerning because tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in Oklahoma and in the country." said Cline.

The next killer in line is obesity.
Cline says Oklahoma ranks last out of all the states for fruit and vegetable consumption, with 85% of Oklahomans not eating enough.

"Eat better, move more, and be tobacco free, so if you make a commitment to do those three things and they don't require money, they don't require much time, they don't require anybody else to make a decision for us, but if we can make those decision then we can improve our own health." Cline said.

State Health Board member, Terry Gerard, says these meetings give health officials a look at the big picture of statewide health problems.

"It's important for us all to get together, and for us all to collaborate with each other so that we can address all the different health issues." Gerard said.

And Bryan County Health Administrator, Mendy Spohn, says they're happy to hold that meeting here in Texoma.

"It's about talking about wellness as a whole, what are the issues, the social determinants that make a community healthy, that make individuals healthy." Spohn said.

The board said a big step in the right direction was made last month when Governor Mary Fallin signed an executive order banning tobacco use on all state property.

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