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Cheryl Stetz, Moorhead, Published June 22 2013

Letter: Moorhead plan wins applause

It’s important to protect our residents and community from disease as well as from crime.

I applaud the Moorhead City Council for enrolling in the “Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties” program that will, for example, bring healthy food options to all concession stands on city property. You’re helping to create community settings where the healthy choice is vastly easier. You are protecting children and families from obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and many other chronic diseases caused by unhealthy food.

I disagree with Councilman Mike Hulett. He voted against joining the program and stated that the council shouldn’t be “responsible” for the health of residents. “We’re responsible for their safety,” he said. “But to get into their daily eating habits and what they can and can’t provide for their kids, gosh, to me that’s a real overreach.”

People often don’t make the connection between health and safety. It is unsafe for children and adults to consistently eat unhealthy because it can lead to life-threatening diseases. And it’s easy to blame parents for not providing kids with healthy food. But when there’s no healthy food available, parents many times have no choice but to make the “unsafe” food choice.

It’s the responsibility of city leaders to help create healthy and safe communities, which leads to decreased health care costs to the taxpayers.