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Briefly

Growth Energy honors Hagedorn

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota has received the 2019 Fueling Growth Award from Growth Energy, a leading proponent of biofuels.

The award was presented to members of Congress who support biofuels initiatives and recognize the contributions of the industry to the local economy.

Hagedorn, a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, has co-sponsored legislation to extend the biodiesel tax credit, as well as a measure requiring greater oversight and transparency in the issuance of small refinery exemptions for ethanol.

“With two biodiesel and 11 ethanol plants across southern Minnesota, biofuels play a major role in the economic well-being of our district,” Hagedorn said. “I have a unique perspective on biofuels as my father, Tom, a grain and livestock farmer who represented southern Minnesota in Congress 40 years ago, worked with now-Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa to develop the original ethanol program.

“I will continue to support the extension of biodiesel tax credits and greater scrutiny over the issuance of small refinery exemptions. In fact, I again call upon the EPA and Trump administration to implement the ethanol program as intended by Congress.”

3 in 10 Minnesota adults obese

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota, you’re getting fatter.

A state that likes to think it’s special has an adult obesity rate that has climbed above 30% for the first time, according to survey data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Minnesota’s rate of 30.1% in 2018 is up from 28.4% the previous year. What’s more, it’s drawing near the national rate of 30.9%, according to CDC data released this week.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas remains a problem — “the largest source of added sugars in the American diet” — along with too much sedentary time on computers and cell phones.

The Star Tribune says Malcolm cites research showing that teens spend more than 7 1/2 hours a day in front of a screen.

“That’s time they’re not being active,” she said.

Although the change from 2017 to 2018 was modest, it represented the third consecutive increase in Minnesota. Obesity has been linked to diabetes and heart disease as well as certain forms of cancer.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index above 30, which is a relative measure of weight vs. height. Thirty is roughly the BMI for a man who is 5 feet 10 and weighs 209 pounds.

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