While most states would probably envy the fact that Minnesota has just been ranked as the healthiest state in the nation (again), our state's bureaucratic do-gooders are dreaming up new ways to take care of their wards:
Minnesota is still the healthiest state in the nation, so why are health officials worried? We smoke too much and we're getting fat. One in five Minnesotans still puffs away and nearly 24 percent are obese, according to the United Health Foundation annual survey released Tuesday. The fat epidemic has hit everywhere, but Minnesotans are gaining weight at a faster clip than the rest of the nation -- a 132 percent rise in the obesity rate since 1990 compared with 110 percent nationwide. "We want to celebrate our success, but it would be very easy to become complacent," said Dianne Mandernach, state health commissioner. "When we look at our obesity rate, that's not good."
Fear not chubby citizens, the state is here to help:
Already Minnesota has a "Cover Your Cough" campaign (not with your hand, thank you very much) and a hand-washing campaign, both widely copied by other states.
The state's "Ban the Bug" flu shot clinics cranked up for the season Tuesday, and Mandernach said the "Eat Five a Day" campaign (as in eat five fruits and vegetables) will probably get upped to seven or possibly nine servings. "Five's just not enough," she said.
Hey state? I just went to the bathroom. Can you tell me what to do next? How about a "Wipe Your Ass" campaign to help us hygienically challenged citizens out?
A statewide ban on smoking in public places will come up for serious consideration in the next legislative session, with the support of Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Good ol' conservative T-Paw strikes again.
And because of climbing obesity rates, Mandernach said, she also is looking at a "Just Turn It Off" campaign that would urge Minnesotans to turn off their televisions and computers. Why? Research shows that the longer the tube is on, the more viewers munch, she said.
Your tax dollars at work folks. I guess we're just happy to pay more for the state to tell us how to live better. We'll always be baby to them.