Lawmakers, health groups launch ‘Healthier State House’ campaign

“A Healthier State House” will encourage lawmakers and staffers in Columbia to live healthier lifestyles.

The South Carolina Hospital Association, the Alliance of YMCAs and Rep. Neal Collins, R-Easley, want to make the State House in Columbia a healthier place to work.

They have teamed up for a new campaign called “A Healthier State House.”

Dozens of lawmakers will track their steps — and each other’s progress — by wearing Fitbit activity trackers this session.

In a press release about the campaign, Collins said he wants his colleagues to increase their physical activity, improve their blood pressure, and work on their waist size and body mass index. He also hopes they lose weight.

“We want to set an example for all South Carolinians,” he said in a prepared statement. “Healthier food choices and more physical activity can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases that rob South Carolinians of a quality life and cost all of us a lot of money.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control estimates more than 60 percent of adults in this state are overweight or obese. The childhood obesity rate in South Carolina is also one of the highest in the country.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598.