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Mayor Launches Healthy Huntsville Initiative to Combat Unappetizing Statistics

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We’re ending the third week of January and for those who resolved to eat better, get in shape and lose weight in 2014, the city of Huntsville is behind you.

Friday morning, Mayor Tommy Battle announced a fun approach to fighting some very distasteful facts about the Tennessee Valley and state of Alabama.

He and local health experts gathered at a table at the Sandwich Farm on Cleveland Avenue.

It’s not every day the focus of a news conference with them is on the food that’s sitting in front of them.  But they were focused on that food, too, because of how healthy it was.

“Our slaw is a vinegar slaw, so it’s nice and fresh and healthy,” said Sandwich Farm owner Ruth Mercado.

The Sandwich Farm is a local farm-to-table restaurant providing a perfect backdrop to launch the third annual Healthy Huntsville initiative.

“We’re gonna have a lot of activities this year with Healthy Huntsville and it’s all in an effort to make sure that we go out and do something just to make yourself a little bit more healthy,” said Battle.

He said Alabama ranks fifth in the country for having obese residents, third highest for cases of diabetes and number one for hypertension.  All of that contributes to higher medical costs in the state.

The hope is the campaign puts the focus on how easy it is to be healthier — by taking a walk, maybe trying yoga and eating healthy.

“You’ll be more productive, not only at work, but you’ll be more productive at home,” said Battle.  “You’ll be a happier person.”

“It makes it fun and I think if we can make it enjoyable, we’ll make a greater effort to be healthy,” said Burr Ingram, spokesman for Huntsville Hospital.

For a list of events for Healthy Huntsville, click here.  All the events are free of charge.

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