Posted by: audreybenenati | February 10, 2010

Commissioner Daines should be commended for tackling obesity


SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD

February 10, 2010

To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Commissioner Richard Daines’ article Feb. 7:

Between 1986 and 1999, I worked as a nurse practitioner for an area school district. At that time, I was concerned over the increasing number of children presenting for physical exams who were overweight and obese. Letters sent home to parents indicating overweight or obese status recommending medical intervention were rarely acted upon. In fact, some parents expressed anger over such concerns. During my time there, Type II diabetes in students increased remarkably.

Sadly, much of this could have been prevented.

Fueling the fire is the fact that several school districts have had contracts with soda companies that generate income for the districts involved as students purchase sugary drinks after school and
during school sponsored activities.

Childhood obesity (which leads to lifelong problems with weight) can be prevented. Smoking-related illness and obesity now account for huge taxpayer spending and place a burden on our budget as well as the health of our community.

Commissioner Daines should be commended for speaking out, and we as a society should take measures to develop the framework now for a truly healthy New York state tomorrow.

Patricia Briest

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