“Thinkin’ of a master plan…’Cuz ain’t nuthin’ but sweat inside my hand”- Paid in Full, Eric B and Rakim
You were singing along, weren’t you? Lol
So there are a couple of things that I want to talk about. One of them you might have heard (read?) about before during one of my rants. One is new.
Let’s start with the old thing.. Well, the revisited thing…
So, obesity, sugary drinks, healthy food, etc. I know, I know. Bear with me, please.
Last month, I listened in on a presentation hosted by an organization called Leadership for Healthy Communities (http://www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org). In their words, they are, “…a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation designed to support local and state government leaders nationwide in their efforts to reduce childhood obesity through public policies that promote active living, healthy eating and access to healthy foods.” I decided to listen in on the call because I’m just so confused as to why some people are so adamantly opposed to supporting government’s efforts to encourage good nutritional standards for healthy living.
Now, perhaps Howard County wasn’t ready for restrictions on the types of beverages/food one could purchase on county property. I don’t fully understand the anger around this but ok, you want to buy your Coke and hot dog at your kid’s Rec and Parks basketball game. Fine. (Note- For the record, you could have brought it..just not bought it..)
But NO standards?? Why be adamantly opposed to some nutritional standards? Have you seen the effects of diabetes? It’s not sexy folks. Have you paid attention to what happens to your heart when you’re overweight? I’m no medical expert but geez. Do you know that our children have a shorter life expectancy than we do, Gen Xers? Not good. And for the everyone fend for yourselves, your mom should have told you how to eat, bottom-line folks, I’ll just say this….healthcare costs.
So back to the presentation. The presenters made a great case as to why childhood obesity is a health equity and social justice issue. They talked about food deserts and access to healthy food options. Nutritional standards for communities and school based wellness policies. (Sidenote- KUDOS to HCPSS for flipping the script on their plan and subsequently earning national recognition for their improvements. Please go ahead and comment about the fact that the kids can’t have cupcakes for Halloween. I’m ready for it.) They talked about education and awareness.
(Click the following link for the powerpoint as I obviously can’t write about the entire thing. http://www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/LHC-REM-Webinar-Slides-FINAL.pdf)
They also talked about our collective responsibility AND our individual responsibility. (Yes, of course, just like anything else, there’s a personal responsibility piece.) But when you talk about community responsibility, we should look to our local and state leaders to have the courage to implement policies that benefit the collective good.
I’m not bashing anyone here. That’s not helpful. (I can talk politics all day but I don’t think we should play politics with people’s health…). I am, however, encouraging our local leaders to revisit this and implement SOME nutritional standards and guidelines for our great county. YOU really can make a real difference in the health and wellbeing of your constituents. Why not talk it out and worn through the differences?
So the new thing..and this will be really brief as I believe blogger, Tom Coale, covered this brilliantly in his post called, “Leave Your Guns At Home, Howard County”. http://www.hocorising.com/2015/02/leave-your-guns-at-home-howard-county.html
If you missed it, in January, the Baltimore Sun posted an article with a tagline that read..”You can pack heat in some county government buildings, but not others.” And apparently, in Howard County you can currently come into a library, the nature center, a community center, etc. with your weapon. Umm. Why would one need their glock at story time at Miller Library? Yikes.
Councilmembers Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, and Jon Weinstein have pre-filed a bill that would prohibit this. Thank you.
“And we outta here…Yo, what happened to peace?…Peace, peace, peace…”