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City Asks Questions To Help Others Live Well

July 16, 2012, 6:07 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

City Asks Questions To Help Others Live Well

The City Of Sioux Falls wants its residents to get healthy.  Monday, the city's health department launched a first-of-its-kind survey to find out ways it can improve the health and well-being of people in the city.

Aaron Munson, like many others, is trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.

"Yah, one of my goals for this year," Munson said.

He's not the only one in Sioux Falls struggling to fit in his five-a-day.

At Monday's news conference to launch a new community health survey, health officials pin-pointed fruits and vegetables as a concern.

"Sioux Falls has the worst consumption of fruits and vegetables in the nation," Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken said.

Of course it's not just fruits and vegetables the survey will focus on. South Dakota also ranks poorly in physical activity and teenage smoking.

"I hate smoking. It killed my Dad," Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether said.

Huether's dad died after lung cancer metastasized to his brain just ten days after he was diagnosed. Smoking is just one of the issues Huether hopes the survey will bring to the forefront.

"In my family alone we are dealing with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, cancer, depression, high blood pressure and who knows what else," Huether said.

Huether hopes deaths and illnesses can be prevented if people take time to fill out the survey, which asks all kinds of health-related questions. City officials will then use the information to guide public health partnerships and policy recommendations.

"This investment of resource on the front end on our prevention and wellness will pay dividends down the road in perhaps being able to minimize some of the need to treat chronic disease in our community," Franken said.

Munson hopes the information will not only help him but also future generations.

"I think it's good for kids growing up to get them on a healthy lifestyle and stuff like that," Munson said.

The Live Well initiative is being paid for through a grant from the South Dakota Department of Health. If you would like to take part in the survey, visit the City of Sioux Falls website.

People who do not have internet access can use the service at the library. Southeastern Behavioral Health will also be reaching out to people.

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