A healthy community should be all cities’ goal

Marysville became the first city in Snohomish County to roll out a program to promote healthy activities last year. Other cities should take a serious look at how it could work for them.

The Snohomish Health District stands ready to help cities determine whether they could support a health education program large enough to produce results. The Health District assigns an employee to act as a dedicated health educator to develop an appropriate plan and campaign.

Healthy Communities programs focus on encouraging healthier behavior to prevent medical problems, an effort to save everyone money in the long run by easing the need for long-term care of chronic diseases.

A local group oversees the Marysville program, and includes several employees of the school district, the parks and recreation director, members of the city council and the mayor.

Having school district administrators on the board rightly reinforces the message that children are a major concern. One of Marysville’s laudable priorities is to provide healthy nutrition and exercise options to lower-income students.

City officials are considering the sustainability and functionality of at least one community garden, which would provide a fun and nutritional source of locally grown food. Improving sidewalks and trails is on the list of proposed projects for the city. People will be more likely to exercise if they have a place to go.

Lynnwood is the second city to get involved with the health district’s program. A presentation to the City Council on Monday is expected to be followed by approval, according to Lynn Sordel, the city’s parks and recreation director.

The Healthy Communities program requires a commitment of city resources. That can be a challenge for most cities, which struggle each year to balance priorities within limited revenues. But few investments hold as much promise for long-term payoff.

And outside help may be available. Mount Vernon and Moses Lake, which have similar wellness programs in place, both received grants of state and federal dollars to get their projects off the ground.

Healthy Communities and other programs aimed at changing habits take time to produce meaningful results. They also require the coordination and cooperation of businesses, community groups and government to be effective. None of that is an excuse for not trying.

Obesity rates are growing. If communities do nothing about it, increases in heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes will follow. Marysville, Lynnwood and the Snohomish Health District say that’s not acceptable.

Anyone else agree?

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, March 2

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: Lawmakers miss good shot for fewer traffic deaths

Legislation to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers didn’t get floor debate and vote in Senate.

Eco-nomics: Preparing for, limiting climate crisis demands a plan

Fortunately, local governments are developing and updating climate action plans to outline necessary steps.

Comment: State ‘mansion tax’ would bite at all income levels

More than high-priced homes, it would increase costs for employers and multi-family housing projects.

Forum: Separation of church and state keeps us from unholy wars

Civilizations have tried the route of state religion, only to see the rise of religious persecution.

Sid Roberts, mayor of Stanwood
Forum: Reliance on social media leads to antisocial outcomes

The interaction via phones and screens is easily abused and limits the context of a face-to-face talk.

A model of a statue of Billy Frank Jr., the Nisqually tribal fishing rights activist, is on display in the lobby of the lieutenant governor's office in the state Capitol. (Jon Bauer / The Herald.
Editorial: Two works in progress to save Columbia Basin salmon

Sculptures of an Indian fishing rights activist will guard commitments to save salmon and honor treaties.

February 27, 2024: Alabama Embryo Ruling
Editorial cartoons for Friday, March 1

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Schwab: Kids’ are all right, if a tad cold; nation’s another matter

Alabama’s IVF ruling shows the dangers in the creep of theocracy into our courts and other institutions.

Choose sources of news carefully to understand world

From what I have seen and heard, there are still many people… Continue reading

GOP wants to run on border crisis, not fix it

Regarding a recent letter to the editor about Herald Columnist Sid Schwab,… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015 file photo, a tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a wildfire burning near Twisp, Wash. Three firefighters were killed battling the blaze. The story was a top Washington state news item in 2015. Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has proposed a plan to strengthen the ways that Washington can prevent and respond to wildfires. Franz released the 10-year plan last week as part of her $55 million budget request to the Legislature to improve the state's firefighting abilities (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: Wildfire threat calls for restoring full funding

Lawmakers should restore funding for fighting wildfires and call on one furry firefighter in particular.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.