Some Third World countries

(December 15, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Under a directive from Governor Huckabee, the state Health Department will set out to persuade Arkansans to quit their unhealthy habits. Arkansas has among the highest rates of obesity, physical inactivity and smoking in the country. Health Department Director Fay Boozman says some Third World countries have people healthier than Arkansans. Huckabee's goal for the remaining three years of his term is to urge prevention. The governor has taken the first steps himself, dropping more than 75 pounds since June. He and health officials plan to offer incentives that lower the cost of health insurance for state employees. The incentives would come for lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, losing weight and quitting smoking.