Re: “For our future, diabetes initiative must be reauthorized” (Viewpoint, 7-21).
I am encouraged that public awareness of diabetes is increasing through grass-roots efforts and organizations such as the Diabetes Foundation. As a physical therapist in the public schools, a member of the Washingtion State Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and a parent of culturally influenced teens, I am exposed to and alarmed at the rising numbers of overweight, unhealthy, at-risk children.
I am equally alarmed at the lack of knowledge in the general population with regard to understanding healthy eating habits. I support the Diabetes Foundation in its mission to heighten public awareness of this epidemic. We all must assist schools and public institutions in being more accountable in the role they play in fostering this unhealthy state.
We must, with gentle force, put an end to sales of unhealthy foods and beverages in our public schools. We must begin to make healthy, fresh, nutritionally sound choices a daily routine and not a luxury in our children’s school lunch lines.
We must support education that involves the whole child, which includes daily fitness and nutrition. We have the resources: farm-fresh foods, knowledge, and people. It is past time to take action.