HEAL cities: "WHEREAS..."

Before commencing this week's article, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Gennie Prochaska, who has graced this column with her witty and creative illustrations for most of the past year. Gennie's illustrations were always generously offered for free, but her professional and personal life has become busier, including a significant increase in her other artistic commitments and commissions. So we give her our thanks and our best wishes for a successful career and a happy life.As the smoke clears from this week's election and a newly-configured City Council gets back to work in December, council members will have the opportunity to move forward with the resolution passed in September and complete the laudable action of affiliating the City of Downey with the HEAL Cities Campaign, which provides tools and resources to assist the city in advocating Healthy Eating and Active Living here in our town. For the remainder of today's article we are attaching the text of the HEAL Cities Resolution template, which the City of Downey will need to adopt and accept in order to participate in the HEAL Cities Campaign. We offer it to you for your edification and in hopes of your support. You can make a difference, and your City Council member needs to know what you think.

PREAMBLE/WHEREAS CLAUSES A draft resolution based on this model should include a preamble that contains "findings" of fact that support the need for the city to pass the resolution. The preamble contains information supporting the need for the resolution - in this case documenting the need for obesity prevention strategies. Some possible findings are listed as "Whereas" clauses below. Cities may have others.

WHEREAS, in 2004, the League of California Cities adopted an Annual Conference resolution to encourage cities to embrace policies that facilitate activities to promote healthier lifestyles and communities, including healthy diet and nutrition and adoption of city design and planning principles that enable citizens of all ages and abilities to undertake exercise; and WHEREAS, the League of California Cities has a strategic goal to promote and develop safe and healthy cities; and WHEREAS, in July 2010 the League of California Board of Directors resolved to partner with and support the national Let's Move Campaign, and encourages California cities to adopt preventative measures to fight obesity; and WHEREAS, on November 18, 2011, the League of CA Cities Board of Directors unanimously voted to encourage 100% board participation in the HEAL Cities Campaign; and WHEREAS, more than half of California's adults are overweight or obese and therefore at risk for many chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, and, hypertension; and WHEREAS, one in four youth between the ages of 9 and 16 in California is overweight. WHEREAS, more children are being diagnosed with diseases linked to overweight and obesity previously seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease; and WHEREAS, the current generation of children are expected to have shorter lives than their parents due to the consequences of obesity; and WHEREAS, obesity takes a tremendous toll on the health and productivity of all Californians; WHEREAS, the annual cost to California-in medical bills, workers compensation and lost productivity- for overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity exceeds $41billion; WHEREAS, teens and adults who consume one or more sodas or sugar-sweetened beverages per day are more likely to be overweight or obese; WHEREAS, by supporting the health of residents and the local workforce would decrease chronic disease and health care costs and increase productivity; and NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that the City Council hereby recognizes that obesity is a serious public health threat to the health and wellbeing of adults, children and families in Downey. While individual lifestyle changes are necessary, individual effort alone is insufficient to combat obesity's rising tide. Significant societal and environmental changes are needed to support individual efforts to make healthier choices. To that end, Downey adopts this Healthy Eating Active Living resolution

********** Published: November 8, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 30