The fall at the American Heart Association appears to be more than just a time to finalize goals and plans. It is also a time for whimsy and learning. I have been bouncing around the state going to Heart Walks, conferences and Go Red for Women events. It has been so much fun! The most fun was the Alice in Wonderland Go Red for Women Event. You can find pictures on our Facebook page.
I was also privileged to be asked to lead a lunchtime policy discussion at the Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 Childhood Obesity Conference two weeks ago. It was a bit daunting when some of the premier childhood obesity experts choose your breakout session, but I got over my nerves and learned a ton. Did you know that the phrase “personal responsibility” was invented by the tobacco industry in the 1960’s? Me neither. It makes sense that this phrase has been co-opted by those wishing to block any good public policy to decrease sugar consumption—whether in liquid or cubed form. Of course, we can’t have “personal responsibility” unless people know what they are supposed to do. What I learned at the 5-2-1-0 conference is that the food and beverage industry has confused the general population so much that no one knows what to do.
People trying to take “personal responsibility” feel as though they have gone down the rabbit hole and have no idea how to get back out. The American Heart Association is working to change this. In Maine, we are starting with our kids. There is no reason why junk food should be advertised or served in our schools—ever. My daughter does not need a pizza coupon for reading a book! Schools should be all about modeling good behavior and supporting parent’s healthy parenting decisions—not undermining their efforts with candy give-aways and incentives to eat junk food.
Will you help? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org