Republican Governor Rick Scott announced his support of Medicaid expansion this Wednesday. This was surprising due to his avid disagreement with the Affordable Care Act prior to last year’s Supreme Court ruling that upholds the law.
Zul R.H. Surani is manager for community outreach and partnerships at the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also the co-founder and director of Saath USA, a community-based organization focused on South Asian health.
Over the past couple of weeks members of Congress have been taking part in a challenge to live on the average food stamp budget, a public experiment that comes in the midst of an ongoing debate about whether people receiving food assistance should be allowed to spend government dollars on junk food and soda.
The Department of Health and Human Services recently released a national roadmap to address and reduce disparities in health status and health care among racial and ethnic minorities. It also released a national strategy for engaging communities across the country to harness the collective power of collaboration in order to tackle these serious issues.
For eleven years I pleaded with my elderly father to allow a caregiver to help him with my ailing mother, but after 55 years of loving each other he adamantly insisted on taking care of her himself. Every caregiver I hired to help him soon sighed in exasperation, "Jacqueline, I just can't work with your father–his temper is impossible to handle. I don't think he’ll accept help until he's on his knees himself."
The measurements of childhood obesity go beyond the scales, the doctors’ offices, and health care dollars. Overweight and obese children are underperforming in the classroom and on standardized tests. The support of policies and funding that would improve the health outcomes for 30 percent of our school aged children would help to elevate test scores, graduation rates and overall academic performance.
Former Governor Sarah Palin recently claimed that First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity prevention campaign inappropriately usurps the role of parents in making food choices for their children. Her critical comments fail to recognize that, in too many instances, parents have become prisoners of school and community environments that restrict their child's access to healthy food and physical activity options.