Can't learn too much about obesity's cost
Kudos to Cheryl Truman for her "unbridled" article, "As a fat state, we're creating an economic burden," published Aug. 20. Obesity is a true epidemic that puts the health, well-being and longevity of about 30 percent of the population, and 17 percent of our children, at risk (Centers for Disease Control).
The risks of having a body-mass index over 30, as obesity is defined, manifest in dramatically increased heart and cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Type II diabetes and many more comorbidities.
The attendant health care costs are conservatively estimated at $4 trillion over the next decade. Collectively, we are all affected by the epidemic regardless of our personal health status.
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Use resources such as Myplate.gov for help in managing portion sizes. Review information on the CDC Web site (Cdc.gov). Investigate what the Big Blue Nation has to say about obesity (Ukhealthcare.uky.edu). Donate to the miracle workers who bring proper nutrition to those less fortunate (e.g., Faithfeedslex.org).
Contact local companies dedicated to obesity intervention and alleviation. Do five minutes, or more, of exercises appropriate to your health at halftime of every basketball game. Engage in the conversation about the epidemic.
The article said that this information is "not what any Kentuckian wants to hear." There is another maxim — "who can't hear, must feel." It will be quite painful, if we are not united, educated and proactive in efforts to reduce the state and national obesity rates.
Barr's opening shot
The race for Kentucky's 6th Congressional District seat began on a dishonest, ugly note by the challenger.
Republican Andy Barr's political ads attacking Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler perpetuate the same inaccurate claims about Medicare that Mitt Romney is shamelessly using on President Barack Obama.
The fact that Barr is already hitching his wagon to the Romney/Ryan ticket shows he is insensitive to the needs of many Central Kentuckians.
Barr's ads claim Chandler will hurt seniors because he supports Obamacare, which cuts $716 billion from Medicare, but this claim is patently false. The $716 billion in cuts to Medicare made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect only payments to Medicare providers, not services for beneficiaries. When Romney attacks Obama for these cuts, he conveniently omits the fact that his running mate's budget plan calls for same cuts.
Since Chandler voted against Obamacare, Barr's ad is a baseless "pants on fire" lie about Chandler's record and its potential impact on seniors. Barr would be more likely to hurt seniors since he would work with House Republicans to repeal Obamacare, which closes the doughnut hole for Medicare part D, saving seniors money on prescriptions.
If elected, Barr would undoubtedly support the Ryan budget that seeks to reduce the deficit on the backs of the poor through cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and student loans, all while giving more tax breaks to the rich.
Central Kentucky families can't afford Barr in Congress.
Emery Caywood IV
Proud of Pikeville hospital
In response to the letter regarding Pikeville Medical Center, I recently had major surgery at PMC. I had a choice between a leading hospital in Lexington and PMC. I chose my hometown and was glad I did. I could not have received better care from the staff and the neurosurgeon.
Then my great nephew was born a little early last month and had severe lung problems. The NICU at PMC has brought him back to us and we have nothing but high praise for that unit as well.
I am privileged to work in the public sector and I have found over the years, the nicer you treat people, the longer they will stay with you. Keep in mind, they can go down the road and get the same service. The only thing that separates you from your competitor is how you treat someone.
I noted the writer is from Lexington. I might guess he is in the health profession and is upset that our hometown in now keeping a lot of its patients rather than shipping them out.
We know what the award is for. And we are very proud of our Pikeville Medical Center, as the rest of the state should be.
A sign hanging in the soon-to-close Decoratifs window reads, "Thank you Lexington for 27 great years." It is Lexington who should thank Decoratifs for 27 years of unwavering and unequaled style, charm and professionalism.
It is a pity to lose another small business and especially one that has provided life to a soon-to-be desolate corner of Woodland Park.
I will miss its ever-changing display windows that always celebrated the seasons in high style. Everyone will miss the surprise of a fat cat sleeping in the middle of the display.
I offer a sad farewell to the witty individuality of another locally owned small business. Thank you, Decoratifs. You will be missed.
Good and bad
I have been volunteering at God's Pantry Food Bank with my spiritual group, Sai Group. We do a service project once a month at God's Pantry, which is a rewarding experience.
On Aug. 11, our group of 13 volunteers was asked to sort food from the familiar blue plastic barrels kept outside grocery stores and charitable organizations. We were touched by the generosity of people.
While sorting the bins, we also found garbage (such as fast-food wrappers), expired food (including expired baby formula and food) and opened and used boxes of cereal and pancake mix, which we were asked to throw in the trash. I would like to request people not to use those bins for garbage. People should donate good food for needy people.
GOP vs. history
Regarding Sen. Rand Paul's speech at the Republican National Convention: His grandfather immigrated to America to enjoy democracy and constitutional freedoms for which many brave people, including mine, fought, sacrificed and died.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts articulated this message which so profoundly applies to the Tang family about whom Paul spoke:
"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. ...
"You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
Also, the American people have decided about abortion; a majority support Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a constitutionally protected right. Those too fragile for our Constitution should find another country.
The great American Oliver Wendell Holmes said that we pay taxes for civility. Republicans and civility are not synonymous.
Thomas Jefferson warned that the greatest threat to our democracy is ignorance. Republicans appear to personify that.
M. Delphia Block