Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Friday, December 5, 2008

Number 50

Well, it's official. Big bold headlines in today's American Press front page told me I live in the number one least healthy state in the country. We are so close to the bottom in everything including rates of obesity, smoking, cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, poverty levels, lack of health insurance, high infant mortality rates, and violent crimes, that cumulatively, we're at rock bottom number 50. Sad. From my limited experience here, it's more than grim statistics. It's a pervasive attitude that seems to ignore personal responsibility for one's own health and welfare. Where I come from, it's a law that children under age twelve must wear a bike helmet. And, by and large, kids wear helmets. When we first moved here, we were shocked to see the vast majority of kids not wearing bike helmets when bike riding. Adults often don't wear them either. Bob and I don't care what the neighborhood kids say, our boys wear their helmets. We won't budge on this. Based on the frequent reports of death by motor vehicle accidents, I'd say there's a larger percentage of folks who don't wear seat belts either. Same attitude.

In response to Louisiana being deemed the unhealthiest state in the country, I've tried to come up with a list of reasons why La. could potentially be healthy and beneficial.
  • Despite skin cancer risks, sunshine is good for you, all that vitamin D. Just be sure to wear the sunscreen.
  • Spicy food clears the sinuses. Pass the Tabasco and Tony's!
  • The slower pace of a southern lifestyle means less stress. Is it nap time yet?
  • Warmer weather means longer growing seasons and more locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. I love farmers' markets.
  • What's not to like about fresh seafood.
Okay, that's all I can think of right now. Please comment if you think of more. Reading today's report convinces me even more to live as healthy as I can.

3 comments:

Richard Keatinge said...

The trouble with bike helmets is that they don't seem to work - laws have stopped a lot of people cycling and have done nothing for head injury rates, see http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/332/7543/722-a. It appears that helmets break easily, but don't absorb the impact, see the engineers quoted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet. A broken helmet has simply failed. Helmets have also strangled some young children who were wearing helmets while playing off their bicycles. Maybe Louisiana has at least one attitude right!

Mindy Blanchard said...

Yeah. That's about right. LA is always at the bottom.

Sorry just can't think of any positives right now

Shannon said...

Um, you can garden all year round here, so you can have fresh veggies in the winter?

I've never really done much gardening for food, but I have family that do it, and give me their extras. If people had more access to garden-fresh cauliflower, they'd probably eat more of it.

On the plus side for LA, I think Illinois is out-doing us on the political corruption front.