Governor Pushes For A Healthier Tennessee

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(Memphis) The governor of Tennessee says he's trying to whip the state into shape.

Bill Haslam announced the creation of a health and wellness foundation.

Its goal is to make Tennessee not just one of the best places to live, but the healthiest.

Congressman Steve Cohen has a similar mission on a national level.

Cohen is trying to bring fresh healthy foods to low-income areas, while the governor is trying to get all people in Tennessee to take action and eat healthy.

“One of our faults as a state is that we are not a very healthy state,” said Haslam. “When you rank them, we come out to be about 40.”

Haslam says he's trying to change that by launching the statewide foundation, which has three goals:

One, motivating people to be more physically active.

“We are asking you to move for 30 minutes, five times a week.”

Two, encouraging people to eat more nutritious foods.

“More fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and less sugar and salt.”

And three, swear off, or never use, tobacco.

To accomplish these goals, the governor says he wants people to use resources available to them, like the Church Health Center on Union Avenue.

“Right behind me is our 80,000 square foot wellness center open to the entire community,” said Marvin Stockell, spokesman for the Church Health Center.

The announcement of the Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness comes as Cohen pushes his bill, that if passed, would offer tax incentives to grocery stores if they open up in low-income areas.

“There are a lot of areas in the country where we don't have access to fresh meats and fresh vegetables, all people get are processed foods,” said Cohen.

Cohen's bill would apply to communities around the nation while the governor says he's focused on Tennessee.

“As the governor of Tennessee, I want to be the cheerleader for our state.”