Mississippi Approves WLS

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Mississippi Approves WLS

In our next story, Mississippi has long suffered with high obesity rates among its citizens – by some counts the highest obesity rates in the nation.  Now, in an effort to curb this trend, Governor Haley Barbour has signed House Bill 15-30, creating a law that guarantees medical treatment for Mississippi state employees with obesity. Experts cite lifestyle factors, poor diet and lack of physical activity as the causes of Mississippi’s obesity problem.

The Magnolia State has long had one of the highest records of heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses of any state, and dietary choices are almost certainly part of the reason why. As a reporter for The Economist noted, quote, “[Mississippi] is famous for its hospitality, strong religious convictions—and its fried, syrupy food. Generations of Mississippians grew up on farms where everything, even collards and turnip greens, were cooked with bacon grease, ham hock or lard; a tradition that remains today”.

The state employee health plan will now be required to cover medically-supervised weight management programs, as well as bariatric surgery for a limited number of employees. Health advocates within Mississippi are hailing the new law and calling for other states to follow Mississippi’s lead.

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