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Eat smart, exercise, take care

Dallas County again has made national news for what might be considered the wrong reason.

Last week, an Associated Press analysis said the county has one of the nation’s highest scores for economic stress. It was the only Alabama county in the top 20.

Now the first county-by-county study says the rate of obesity in Alabama is led by Greene and Dallas counties with rates of about 44 or 43 percent.

The national adult obesity rate is only about 26 percent.

Tied to the obesity report was an estimate of Type 2 diabetes in counties, where Dallas County also ranks among the nation’s highest.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta listed possible reasons for the higher numbers in the Southeast: a culture that embraces fatty, unhealthy foods and shuns exercise, genetics, income and education.

A federal spokeswoman says action to combat these findings must come at the local level.

Dr. Miriam Vos of Emory School of Medicine said she hopes the numbers will spotlight the problems so local officials will turn their attention to combating the problem.

The problems are not easy to overcome, and obesity and diabetes are affecting more people every day. These are all-too-common difficulties that reach too many residents and the people they know.

As a favor to you and those around you, eat smart, exercise and take care.