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Ten years later, Huntington drops the ‘fattest city’ title

By BISHOP NASH

The Herald-Dispatch

Jamie Oliver, the impassioned chef, TV personality and best-selling author, came to Huntington to film “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”
(ABC photo)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Ten years ago, a portly woman plodded in front of an Associated Press reporter on the sidewalk in Huntington.

It was a stinging opening scene to an article that not only crowned Huntington “America’s fattest and unhealthiest city,” but also pointedly underlined the city’s apathy to the problem.

The bottom line in 2008 was staggering: Nearly half of all adults (45.5 percent) in the five-county Huntington-Ashland metropolitan area were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Huntington led the nation’s 142 metros in a half-dozen other poor-health indicators, such as diabetes and heart disease – both conditions caused and exacerbated by obesity.

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