Member's Press Release

Release Date: 02/10/2005
Contact: Delegate Ron Thompson at 304-340-3189

Ron Thompson

West Virginia Lawmaker Excited for New Program

Lawmakers from the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate accept the challenge from the Governor to wear a pedometer during this years Legislative Session in an effort to improve their health and increase community awareness of the growing rate of obesity within the state.

Delegate Ron Thompson, D-Raleigh, is very pleased to hear about the adoption of House Resolution 8 and Senate Resolution 5 to get West Virginia leaders on the move.

Delegate Thompson, D-Raleigh, initially contacted all Gubernatorial Candidates during the past year expressing concern about the growing health issues across the state, specifically the youth obesity problem.

Among those that responded were candadite Joe Manchin to express interest in attacking this problem in West Virginia.

“I am very pleased to see that possibly my concern along with countless others may have assisted him in making this a part of his Legislative Agenda. I believe this is just another way to make this state better for all its citizens and I appluad and support him and his administration 100 percent,” said Delegate Ron Thompson, D-Raleigh.

West Virginia, as a state, ranks at the top of the list nationally concerning high levels of obesity. Of all adults in the state, 27.6 percent are obese, ranking first in the country. Of West Virginia fifth graders screened in the study, 26.8 percent were considered to be overweight.

With this resolution, the West Virginia House and Senate, the Governor and their staff members are challenged to wear pedometers from the first day of the Legislative Session 2005 to the last day of session 2005 shall participate in the “West Virginia on the Move Program” and compare the number of steps taken by members of each group.

The group with the greatest particiaption with consideration of the difference in size of each group shall be awarded the first annual ‘Leaders on the Move’ award to be placed in the office of the President of the Senate of Speaker of the House or Governor’s Office based in the outcome of the competition.

“In my daily life, I integrate a routine workout for myself to make this part of my lifestyle as a 38 year old adult male," stated Thompson, D-Raleigh.

Weight-related preventable illnesses has increased in the state which in turn is driving up the healthcare costs and reducing workplace productivity. These lifestyle-related diseases are now responsible for 60 percent of health care claims. “I believe this a great program for all to participate in. I only hope that this helps to generate a greater awareness throughout the state. In fact, I’d like to challenge all West Virginians to participate in the West Virginia on the Move Program,” added Delegate Thompson.

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