Chewing the fat: Surgeon general urges lose the pounds

Florida Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong shows off his pedometer Photo available for purchase

Florida Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong shows off his pedometer

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 14:25 PM.

On the eve of one of America ’s most indulgent holiday feasts, the state’s surgeon general paid a visit to Franklin County to promote healthy weight.

Dr. John H. Armstrong, a Tampa trauma surgeon who was appointed surgeon general in April 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott, made an enthusiastic pitch to students Nov. 26 on behalf of the state’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative, launched in January 2013.

“A snap of the fingers isn’t going to solve this problem,” said Armstrong, after ticking off a series of alarming statistics of how fat Floridians have become in the last couple decades.

“It will take an investment over a decade,” he said. “It’s the sum of small choices that will really make a difference.”

Armstrong paid an afternoon visit to the Franklin County School , escorted by Franklin County Health Department Administrator Marsha Lindeman, and Operations Manager David Walker. As state surgeon general, Armstrong oversees Florida’s 67 county health departments, as well as offices for Children’s Medical Services, Medical Quality Assurance, Disability Determinations and public health laboratories.

Senior Bria Walker introduced Armstrong to an audience in the media center of her fellow members of the school’s chapter of SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco).

Armstrong opened his subject of weight loss by congratulating the students on their work against tobacco, and recounting his own experience of getting his dad to quit smoking.

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