Do We Need the Return of the Health Czar?

(Boston,MA 10/01/15) Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services speaks during DCF press conference at The Massachusetts Statehouse on Wednesday, October 01, 2015. Staff photo by Patrick Whittemore.

I have written several articles on Education. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on education

The President’s Council on Youth Fitness was founded on July 16, 1956 to encourage American children to exercise and eat healthy. In June 2010 President Obama renamed the agency the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, with a new emphasis on nutrition as an element of fitness. Arguably the most famous Chairman of the Council was Arnold Schwarzenegger who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and served from 1990-1993. The most recent co-chairs are Mariano Rivera and Herschel Walker. Previous chairs have been celebrities like Florence Griffith Joyner, Drew Brees and Lou Ferrigno. But the only one I remember was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had energy and appeared to be everywhere in his efforts to improve the health of our children.

I believe this council has fallen by the way side and is just something for fading stars to do in their waning years. Their is no real energy in the program. I believe that the council should receive a major overhaul. Instead of just keying in on children, it should address all the age groups. Instead of 1 to two chair people being appointed, we should have several age groups with celebrities that are the same age of each group. There should be a daily exercise program, with each age group being addressed with an appropriate age related exercise program and tips on healthy living and dieting. They should also above all else make it fun and engaging for each age group. A good range of ages would be 5-12, 13-25, 25-40, 40-55, 56-. This age grouping is just a suggestion.

Over the last 40 years physical fitness programs in our schools have gradually disappeared as a result of budget cuts in Education system. This lack of physical education in our schools, the advent of video games and the internet and to growing trend of two income families (where kids are eating junk food, instead of healthy meals prepared by a parent) has all resulted an increase in obesity in our adolescent population. This problem with obesity at an early age as seen an increase in diabetes and other health care issues. The American population in general has a higher level of obesity and a higher incidence of chronic illnesses usually seen in our elderly population. The health of population has become evident in this Corona Virus Pandemic. The Virus seems to attack elderly people and people with health issues, such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, COPD( commonly caused by heavy smoking) and Asthma to name a few. Because of our populations poor health, the virus is having an impact on people in there middle 30’s instead of just affecting adults of over 60 years of age.

European countries and Asian countries are fairing much better with Covid than we are because their population on average is healthier. This needs to change, I believe that this upgraded program will be a good place to start.

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