By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – A St. Louis-based non-profit group has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to combat tobacco use and obesity among low-income Missourians.
The Missouri Foundation for Health will distribute the money to more than a dozen other non-profits across the state. Spokesperson Bev Pfeifer-Harms says the numbers of both smokers and obese Missourians exceed national averages.
"We have one of the higher smoking rates in the country...we actually are in the top 10 of states for our smoking rate," Pfeifer-Harms said. "The same is true with obesity...we rank, I believe, as the 12th fattest state in the nation."
The non-profit groups receiving the grant will also put up matching money. Pfeifer-Harms says that should result in about $8 million to help fight smoking and obesity among Missouri's poor.