The article in today’s JS about the 6 time Olympic swimming champion being picked up on a DUI charge and the recent deaths of young “binge” drinkers renew my beliefs that the most dangerous drug on the market is alcohol. When I was in grade school our teacher made an impression on me that I never forgot. She explained the difference between “chronic” and “acute” use of alcohol. She advised us not to get started drinking but she also warned us that “acute” use of alcohol could cause immediate death. She explained that a person who did not drink at all could one day poison their system with a lot of alcohol and the bodies systems, unprepared, could not fight off this attack of alcohol and would react in such a manner as to sometimes cause immediate death.
I note that most of these deaths, the few that even make the news, could in part be prevented by more emphasis on keeping our bodies healthy and that this not only be taught at home, where it often isn’t, but thru indoctrination classes in middle schools, high schools and colleges. I’m sure much teaching is done as a warning of consequences of poor health habits, but I’m also sure that much of it is not effective or not even being taught.
In Sunday’s edition, on 9/26/04 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that paper thought enough about our health crisis to devote 14 full pages or an entire section of the newspaper under the title of “OUR OVERWEIGHT KIDS; A SUPERSIZED CRISIS”. In an article dated 11/08/04 in USA Today, reports that the United States is in a “fragile state of health” and Illinois is 29th out of 50 states making progress toward better health. It states that “driven partly by smoking reduction, the nation became 17% healthier since 1990 but since 2000, the improvement leveled off and is rising only 0.02% a year”. It also gives three of the most common causes of the health of our citizens is, the higher percentage of people without health insurance, declining high school graduation rates and increased child poverty. (We would graduate more if we finally understood the mistaken assumption that all our kids are going to college and have high paying desk jobs).
I recently wrote a “blog” about removing sugar loaded soft drinks from the public schools and selling only diet drinks with no sugar, bottled water and milk. This has been done in some schools with great success. I suspect by observation that #150 has the greatest number of overweight kids. Examples should be set by everyone in positions of leadership. Examples should be set not only in the schools but by all who are considered to be in positions of leadership.
It’s way past time to start doing more than we are doing towards improving this communities health and the educating of children and adults about the problems of health abuse with it’s resulting higher cost of medical and drug treatments and the consequential rise in health insurance premiums.
I’d like to hear from my readers what their thoughts are on the matter of health issues.
I love those old Burma Shave roadways signs such as “PASSING SCHOOL ZONE TAKE IT SLOW LET OUR LITTLE SHAVERS GROW.” Let’s also start doing a better job of looking after kids health by warning them of the dangerous effects of the abuses they subject to their bodies!! And repeat these warning as few listen the first time told.