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Kentucky first in nation to promote healthy food choices at rest areas

August 31, 2011 | | Comments Comments

FRANKFORT – Posters are going up at the 23 rest areas and welcome centers across the state to highlight healthy food choices for travelers.

The effort will make Kentucky the first state in the nation to promote healthier food options at state-operated vending sites, said state Education and Workforce Development Secretary Joseph U. Meyer at a Capitol news conference Wednesday.

Meyer said the program, called “Kentucky Healthier Highways Partnership,” is a collaborative effort of the Office for the Blind, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky Alliance of YMCA’s and the Humana Foundation.

The posters will highlight healthy food choices as travelers near vending machines are to make a purchase decision.

Tourism Secretary Marcheta Sparrow said about 30 million travelers each year visit the state’s rest areas and welcome centers.

Healthier choice snacks make up about 25 percent of the offerings in vending machines operated by the state’s blind vendors program, said Christopher Smith, executive director of the state Office for the Blind.

Smith said the idea for the posters was the Kentucky Alliance of YMCA’s to fight the epidemic of obesity in Kentucky.

 Kentucky has the seventh highest rate of obesity in the country and the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity.

–Jack Brammer

Filed Under: State Government

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