Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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Walking to school for health

It’s no secret that childhood obesity rates are on the rise in our country. More and more children are being diagnosed with high cholesterol and blood pressure and are at a risk for developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. While people may not develop heart disease until their 40s, research has shown that children as young as 8 to 10 years of age may already have high cholesterol and artery-clogging blood fats, a precursor to heart disease and stroke.

Our state leaders talk a lot about Iowa becoming the “healthiest state in the nation.” To accomplish this goal we need to start with small steps. My suggestion on a first step to get there: Make it safer for more of our kids to walk or bike to school.

Not only will it reduce traffic but the real benefit will be to the kids who exercise in the morning and afternoon on their way to and from school. They’ll be more focused in the classroom, and they’ll get a good portion of their daily exercise from this simple step.

The Iowa Legislature can help this by funding the “Safe Routes to School.” Establishing safer crosswalks, better lane markings, and traffic flows around schools will be really helpful. Encourage your legislator to help our kids this way.

We spent a great deal of time talking about curriculum and what happens during the day, which is critical to feeding the mind. But we often overlook the healthy start that a walk or bike ride to school can provide. It’s never too early to start developing healthier habits.

LaShonda Kennedy

Surviving Animal House

We would like those administrators protecting the Iowa Writers’ Workshop to know that we were students at the University of Oregon when Animal House was filmed on campus and in town. We survived that celebration of debauchery and got our degrees. Please come to your senses, and stop trying to be an Institute of Higher Fuddiduddiness.

Roberta Till-Retz and Jae Retz (now in mid-70s)

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