Doctor tells legislature poverty leads to state’s ranking in categories of disease

JACKSON — Mississippi’s dismal standings in several public health categories — first in the nation in obesity, heart disease and infant mortality and second in diabetes — can be improved by lifting more residents out of poverty, the state’s health officer said Wednesday.

“Obesity goes along with poverty,” Dr. Mary Currier told members of the Legislature’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

Currier is one of several heads of departments and agencies who are presenting legislators this week with funding requests for the 2013 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 reports.

Commercial Appeal