Celebrate! And then back to work in battle against obesity

In any long, drawn out ordeal, it’s important to take time to celebrate the successes. And that’s the case in the battle against the American epidemic of childhood obesity. Some think it’s a lost cause; we do not. So we took time out last week to celebrate the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 210, also known as the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children law.

Details about the legislation can be found in what we wrote in this space here and here. Bottom line: we are glad to have been part of the effort to have our state recognize the problem of childhood obesity and take steps to deal with it. In short, the law: gets kids moving more and understanding the benefits of physical fitness; helps them make healthier eating choices; and measures our progress!

Mary Ronan, superintendent of the Cincinnnati Public Schools was on hand for the celebration. She said she and her teachers know first hand the problems facing too many of our children with poor eating habits. “If kids don’t feel well, they don’t learn well,” she said.

William Kent, senior vice president of operations at Cincinnati Children’s, talked about some of the changes we’re making inside the walls of the hospital to encourage healthier eating, things like lowering the cost of some foods and color coding menu options to make choosing good-for-you foods easier.

“These are small things, but they add up and can make a big difference,” he said.

State Sen. Eric Kearney, author of the legislation that became law, said it is a perfect example of the kind of bi-partisan broad-based support that is needed to address this issue. He said when you see the diversity of the groups and individuals who came together to make this law possible, it’s evident obesity is a critical problem facing our state and our country.

Among the supporters of the efforts to tackle the obesity crisis is one local TV station, WLWT. On Sept. 21, the station will air “One Nation, Overweight” to address the topic. We’ll be watching in with interest.

And we will not give up. We’re glad we took time out to celebrate. We’re anxious to continue to work that will lead us to healthier kids and a healthier future for all of us.

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