News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

November 11, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Nov. 11, 2012

Healthier population will ensure our security

As we remember the many sacrifices of our military this Veterans Day, we should also consider the upcoming generation and what our nation can do to help ensure our long-term national security.

More than 300 retired generals and admirals like myself are concerned that one-in-four young adults currently is too overweight to join the military and that weight problems have become the top medical reason why young adults cannot enlist. In Indiana alone, 275,000 18- to 24-year-olds were overweight or obese in 2010.

While no single action will resolve the obesity issue, a comprehensive overhaul of school nutrition and fitness programs is an excellent place to start.

New lunch and breakfast nutrition standards have gone into effect this fall, and soon the USDA will update standards for snack foods — critically important steps in improving the health of our children. These standards are helping parents reinforce healthier eating habits with their kids and deserve our full support; in a recent California poll, parents (91 percent) and students (82 percent) overwhelmingly support the changes to school nutrition standards.  

U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon can also help by supporting efforts in Congress to provide schools with resources for the equipment and training that cafeteria workers need to make healthier foods more appealing to kids.

On this Veterans Day, all Americans should first thank a veteran, and then resolve to help our children eat healthier meals and get more exercise. It’s not just a health issue. It’s a matter of national security.

— Richard B. Myers

General, U.S.

Air Force (Retired)

Former Chairman of

the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Arlington, Va.

West Vigo HS wins food drive

The Pepsi Football Food Drive is now over, and West Vigo High School took first place with just over 6,000 pounds of food donated. With only 600 students in the school, this is a remarkable accomplishment for the Viking student body as on average each student donated 10 pounds of food.

As Student Council sponsor at West Vigo, I would like to congratulate our students on a job well done. I would also like to thank our staff and the greater West Terre Haute community for making this possible. It feels great to win the competition, but what is most important in the Pepsi Football Food Drive is that between West Vigo, Terre Haute North, and Terre Haute South, nearly 15,000 pounds of food was donated.

All of this food stays in our local community at the Catholic Charities food bank to be distributed to various food pantries in Vigo County. Our students’ efforts will go a long way to help needy families in our community put food on the table this winter.

— Jim Kendall

Student Council Sponsor

West Vigo High School

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