Furthermore, suggestions arising from this Summit focused on a sin tax on "unhealthy foods", a regressive tax which will disproportionately affect the poor (an increasing segment of our population in Michigan) while not addressing the root of the problem. Rather than focusing on what we currently are and telling us what to buy (or not buy), why don't we give children and adults the opportunity to lead healthier lives? Use the carrot rather than the stick to induce healthier behaviors and lifestyles. How about instead of stigmatizing the overweight and obese by making our BMI public, we work towards achieving HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE? We don't need to be shamed into submitting, but only give us the tools and we will decrease our health risks.
- Promote 2 15-minute breaks each day in partnership with public and private enterprise to provide the opportunity to walk/exercise and enjoy the fresh air
- Subsidize and fund ONLY healthier nutrition options in schools to children
- Endorse Farm-to-School and School Garden Initiatives
- Encourage families to engage in outdoor activities
- Incentivize growth of youth farm stand projects and healthy corner stores in places with limited food resources
- Provide low-cost equipment to schools for physical activity (i.e. jump ropes, balls, etc)
- Set an example by having healthy foods at office celebrations
- Advocate walking groups at workplaces, schools, churches, etc.
- Reinvest in our schools' physical education through mandating gym class EVERY DAY
- Push for healthier foods for all institutionalized populations (i.e. hospitals, mental facilities, prisons)
- Champion Safe Routes to Schools, Walking School Buses, Complete Streets, and Bike/Walking Paths
These are just a few options of which there are many to promote health without causing stigma and shame for those who are overweight and obese. By looking at the problem on such a superficial level as only weight and BMI, we feed a preoccupation with being thin rather than healthy.
Please feel free to share your suggestions as progress towards leading Healthier lifestyles!