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Utahns encouraged to park farther away, walk more

Utahns encouraged to park farther away, walk more



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's population is growing around the waist, and one group wants to help reverse the trend with an unusual approach.

Outside the Steiner Aquatic Center Tuesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon helped paint the farthest parking stalls as part of a "park farther" effort. White lettering reads, "Park here to walk farther and be healthier."

The county is cooperating with Intermountain Health Care and its Intermountain Live campaign. IHC plans to work with businesses who want to take part, to designate and paint several stalls. People caught parking in those stalls could receive prizes.

Community Health and Prevention Director at IHC, Dr. Tamara Lewis, says obesity rates are increasing. "The rate for adult obesity is now in Utah up to 22 percent, and we're at 23 percent of children being either overweight or obese."

Lewis says taking small steps really can help. "It's basically, get your heart rate up," she said. For children, she encourages allowing them to walk to school when possible and playing more often.

She also says parents can take a big step in reducing childhood obesity by trying to eliminate sweetened drinks, even when it comes to sports drinks and juices. She says water and fresh fruits and vegetables are better options.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

Marc Giauque

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