Poor health in Tennessee costs the state $5.3B per year

Tennessee legislators said the poor health of their state's residents cost the state $5.3 billion annually, according to the Times Free Press.

State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, is co-chairman of the Tennessee Legislative Wellness Caucus, which is focused on studying health in the state. He said Tennessee's rates of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are considerably higher than the national average and treating these preventable diseases has cost the state $5.3 billion.

"I don't think members of the General Assembly fully understand nor do they fully appreciate the economic implications of poor health," said Mr. Watson, according to the Times Free Press.

Mr. Watson said lawmakers must emphasize initiatives that encourage healthier lifestyles and inform residents that these costly conditions are usually preventable with proper exercise and good nutrition.

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