Medical group: Teach children good health habits


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The president of the Mississippi State Medical Association says teaching children about exercise and proper nutrition could help reverse some of the state's terrible health trends.

Dr. James A. Rish of Tupelo released the state's annual public health report card Thursday at the Capitol. It shows Mississippi is worst in the nation for heart disease and for low birth-weight babies.

The state also has the second-highest rates of diabetes, obesity, cancer deaths and teen births.

Rish says he'd like to see more Mississippians covered by health insurance, but the association is not taking a position on whether lawmakers should expand Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the needy.

Gov. Phil Bryant and fellow Republicans who lead the state House and Senate oppose expansion, while many Democrats favor it.

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