Morning headlines: Monday, July 11, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Monday, July 11, 2011

Jul 11, 2011

Dangerously hot in St. Louis Metro area Monday and Tuesday

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Monday and Tuesday due to extreme temperatures and humidity.

John Carney with the National Weather Service says heat index values will range from 110 to 115 degrees.

 " It's quite dangerous, especially for folks who are susceptible to high index values," said Carney. "A lot of people don't want to run their air conditioners because of the cost of electricity. This is the time that you want to turn on your air conditioning, because it will save your life."

 Carney says the heat warning is in effect not only because of the heat intensity, but because high temperatures have lasted more than four days.

The National Weather Service advises rescheduling strenuous outside activities to the early morning or evening, know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible, and drink plenty of water.

Feds to calculate flood damage in 27 Mo. counties

Government officials will be conducting assessments in 27 Missouri counties to calculate flood damage to farms, homes and crops. The assessment by the federal Farm Service Agency covers areas affected by flooding that has occurred since May.

Twenty-five of the counties are along the Missouri River. Clark and Lewis counties in northeast Missouri also are included because of flash floods.

The damage assessments are the first step in determining whether disaster declarations can be sought. That designation would allow farmers to receive emergency loans or other assistance from the federal government. The counties along the Missouri River include St. Charles and St. Louis.

Mo. 11th most obese in the U.S.

A new study reveals that Missouri now has the 11th highest adult obesity rate in the country. The report by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health shows that Missouri's obesity rate struck 30.3 percent. 

Georganne Syler is a registered dietitian and professor at Southeast Missouri State University. She says that Missouri's increasing belt line is caused by inexpensive high-calorie foods, large serving sizes, and a lack of exercise.

 "When I say exercise I don't mean going to the gym," said Syler. "I mean we don't walk. We drive through a window to get a soda that might then give us 500 calories rather than even getting out of the car to walk into the store."

 Missouri's children are less likely to be obese. The childhood obesity rate is 13.6 percent, which ranks 31st in the country.

The report details the growth of obesity rates in the United States over time.  Twenty years ago, all states had obesity rates under 15 percent. Fast forward to 2011 and the lowest obesity rate in the country belongs to Colorado at 19 percent,  which would have ranked as the highest in the country in 1995.