Monday, January 26, 2009

Appalled, an editor pleads with readers: Shape up!

Linda Ireland went to the grocery and was appalled by a child, about 9, sitting in a shopping cart, "opening packages and eating the food as fast as momma put it in the cart." That made Ireland, editor of The LaRue County Herald News in Hodgenville, Ky., recall a press release she had received a few weeks earlier from the state health department. And it made her write about both things:

"Our fair state is consistently ranked among the top 10 for obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease. About 70 percent of Kentuckians are overweight or obese. The report says we sit – way too much. Almost a third of Kentucky adults reported they did not participate in any physical activities or exercise such as running, golf, gardening or walking, other than their regular jobs. And, of course, we eat too much," like the cart kid.

Ireland concluded her Jan. 7 column with a plea: "I sympathize with anyone who is battling the bulge. I know exactly how hard it is to get rid of those first five pounds when you have 20 or more in front of you. But at least try to help yourself, by changing eating and exercise habits. It’s a great time to make that your New Year’s resolution. Get out of the cart, or the next thing you know, you’ll be stuck in it. And you’ll be no different than the young man I saw, getting bigger and sicklier by the minute." (Read more)

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