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Food Experts Working on Fighting Obesity in Milwaukee's Poor Areas

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - Food experts are trying to put a dent into Wisconsin’s obesity rate, by curing a lack of healthy eating choices in Milwaukee’s low income areas.

The Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday that 26 percent of Wisconsinites are obese – which means they weigh at least 20 percent more than their ideal numbers. Another recent survey said Wisconsin had the highest obesity rate in the nation for African-Americans, at 44 percent.

Milwaukee urban farmer Will Allen says many people in the inner city either don’t have the money to buy fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables – or they don’t have the transportation to get to stores which sell them.

Young Kim of Milwaukee’s Fondy Food Center says one possible solution is to try and get corner stores to sell vegetables made by local farmers. Once the stores are identified, Kim says neighbors will be asked what types of fresh produce they’re willing to get.

Milwaukeeans are also getting involved in more cooking clubs and exercise programs. Linda Meurer of the Medical College of Wisconsin says it’s important for neighborhood residents to work on their own solutions, rather than somebody else doing it for them. CDC Director Thomas Frieden says obesity is a societal problem that needs a societal response.

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