"Comment regarding Health in the Hood suggestion about using
I'm enjoying reading this site and liked this article, but have to comment
on Richard Jackson's suggestion that walkability.com is a reliable
website. I disagree. Sure, the site looks pretty, but the scores are way
off! The maps on the site randomly mark restaurants and stores that are
often the furthest. At the same time the map/list ignores closer
locations altogether. Plus, it marks home businesses as shopping
locations. Lastly, they use block length as a major factor against a low
score. The belief that a block length should bring down a score is not
logical. So what if the street lengths are shorter, if the total length
between the house and site is the same? I could go on, but will just end
with a suggestion: use google maps instead. If you are going to make
your decisions or be persuaded by a site, use one that is more reliable on
the whole. While a score is not given - I imagine that you know how far
you can walk.
"Um...did you say 'skilled?'"
"yabba dabba doo i's lives in the hoods two, and the fact that the word
hood is used in a school news letter causes me consternation. To the
person who laughed instead of applauding that poor illiterate person. I
say way to go buddy. You are adroit in your writing skills. NOT as skilled
as i am however, nor will you ever be. In closing, all this who-ha can be
avoided in the future by simply using good grammar. 'STAY AWAY FROM THE
WORD HOOD. HE HATES THE WORD HOOD' Steve Martin "
"amen, amen, amen!!!!"
"To the person who is disappointed in those who find fault with the title.
Please don't be. We are all adults, we can handle ourselves."
"There are many issues that have affected our health and the health of our
children for many years. We are now seeing the results, just like we are
seeing so many of our schools failing and our environments being polluted.
We need to understand how it happened in order to change it. After WWII,
many physicians abandoned their understanding of infant health by
discouraging mothers from breastfeeding and promoting the use of (war
surplus) infant formula, canned foods (Spam, Campbells Soup, etal), sugar
and table salt. Physicians were a major part of that problem because mothers
trusted them, and they claimed to be concerned about our health. The problem
with doctors is that if you are healthy, you don't need them. They have no
monetary incentive to keep you healthy. With the advent of television with
tobacco advertisements on every channel, in every magazine, in every movie,
plus McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Pepsi, Coca Cola and other major junk food
companies populating practically every major city in the US ... and then
linking all this junk food to young people's popular music icons ... well,
it's very easy to see the affect on the minds of the impressionable.
Blame Madison Avenue for promoting consumption of soda pop and junk foods as
being 'all American. Schools were (still are) a huge part of the problem.
How can schools teach biology and the fact that human beings are (also)
mammals and then encourage children to drink COOKED milk every day from
another mammal hundreds of pounds heavier than their own mothers? Couple
that with the advent of daily soda pop ads, candy bars (cheaply and readily
available), and you can see how easily it happened. Driving everywhere for
the arts, sports, jobs, food causes huge problems not only with our air
quality, but our sedentary lifestyles as well. In lower income,
'ghetto-ized' neighborhoods (remember the Jews during WWII and their
hoods? -- the ghettos now have other minorities there and the Jews have
moved on based on their economic advantages) you see neighborhood
'convenience' stores filled with all the junk foods, soda pop, plastic,
packaging and cigarettes you need to slowly kill yourself. In Europe they
have fresh food markets all over the place. Here we are in America, drowning
in our own NYC ad-agency misleading 'packaging,' touting the benefits of
'foods' filled with synthetic vitamins, coal tar derivative poisons
(artificial flavor and colors), etc. Furthermore, you have all the public
(and private) schools for years pulling their kitchens and stocking the
lunchrooms with every imaginable piece of junk you really don't want your
kids to eat. The schools teach nutrition and a healthy lifestyle on one
hand, and then they lie by offering junk to eat in their own cafeterias.
Look at every teachers' lounge and you will find a pop machine there. School
fundraising is another repeat of the same junk being sold to raise money for
the schools to buy more books, etc. How is that good for our children to
promote, through sales, the same junk they should avoid at all costs?
Look at what we are really eating. Anyone can see that the commodities
mostly eaten are bad for your health and well-being because they (have been
for years) and continue to be too plentiful in our diets. The profit margin
for these foods is ridiculous. Look at your parents and your own stock
portfolios and ask yourself what is important for your investments. You,
your relatives and friends are a huge part of the problem. We all know why
synthetic vitamins, fat, salt and sugar are used: to improve the flavor and
nutritional density of a deficient food that would not taste good without it
because it was over-processed, picked too early, grown on poor soil, etc. In
other words, it is deficient. Think Wonder Bread versus whole grain
organically grown bread and it makes you wonder why we ever ate that crap in
the first place. How did we get fooled?
See the indie film, 'Food Inc.' Also read the book, 'The Hidden Persuaders'
by Vance Packard, first published in 1957, which discusses the negative
aspects of advertising in the post-war era. You will find their handiwork in
every school, daycare, movie theater, indoor and outdoor stadium and every
television channel on the air."
"very important article, I liked it, very helpful."
"I appreciate the this article, but what I don't appreciate when thoes in
authority use slang when there is something our kids may read."
"Great, informative article. I see no problems with the title, but I am
disappointed with those who do. We're all adults, we can handle ourselves.
Great Schools has used slang before, and there was no problem then as
there isn't now."
"This was an interesting article, and it had some valid points, but
suggesting that children playing at the Ã¢â‚¬Å“hardenedÃ¢â‚¬Â� versus the Ã¢â‚¬Å“green
endÃ¢â‚¬Â� of the projects were not as well socialized might be missing the
boat. Perhaps it's not the green vs. asphalt that makes the difference, but
the fact that the kids growing up in neighborhoods with lawns and trees are
also growing up with a different socio-economic background, and perhaps a
stay-at-home parent. I be willing to bet think it's the green lawn and
trees that are helping them.
It's also important to note that, at least where we live in the suburbs of
Boston, most of the communities with excellent schools seem to be the
communities with twisting, heavily treed roads, and very little in the way
of sidewalks on main roads. It would be a death sentence to expect a child
to walk to school during the hours that many people are zipping along those
roads in their cars while sipping a coffee, eating their breakfast, and
talking on their mobile phone. My daughter either takes the bus (that picks
her up across the street from our house) or gets a ride if she has a lot to
carry because we live more than 2 miles from the school. She's very much in
shape and healthy. We don't allow video games in our house, and limit TV
and computer time to a couple hours per MONTH. Instead, we've taught our
daughter to spend her free time wisely. She enjoys participating in sports
(golf, competitive swimming, and softball), and when she has free time she
spends a lot of !
it outside riding her bike, riding a scooter (not motorized), jumping rope
or jumping on a pogo stick. We never allowed her to have one of those
motorized cars that are so popular among the little kids. So, if you don't
live in a place where your kids can walk to school there are plenty of other
ways they can stay fit and healthy!
Oh, and a big thank you to Great Schools for bringing us down to the
'gansta' level. I don't live in a 'hood' and I would venture to guess that
most of your readers don't refer to their neighborhoods that way either!"
"To the person who wrote:
'i live in a neighborhood not a hood. dont we see slang and hear slang
enough these days? please dont include bad grammar in your articles.'
I completely agree with the spirit of your comment, but practice what you
preach. A little proper capitalization and a couple of apostrophes would
have made me applaud your comment rather than laugh at it!
"I loved this article, too! It isn't blaming anybody for obesity but rather
offering a different perspective on how we parents can improve the quality
of our children's lives. I grew up walking a quarter-mile for the bus...
my parents wouldn't have dreamed of driving me (or my brother). In middle
school, we walked -- carrying books, instruments (yes, they had band back
then!), and only getting a ride if the weather was really inclement (not
drizzling or a bit cold). Perhaps because of this, we walk our son to/from
school (about 6 blocks) every day. We love the time we have to talk about
school, life, and dreams rather than listening to the radio or frustrated
with rush-hour drivers. So quality, all round, improves when one lives
close enough to school, work, etc. Thanks for the article!"
"I grew up in Germany and walked to school pretty much from 1 st grade
until I graduated. Being driven was a real treat. BUT, we lived never more
than 20-30 minutes walk from any of the schools. The distances in the
States are far. Commuting 2 hours a day by car seems normal. I believe
it's prioity to get your child to school safely. After school we go to the
park, beach, run around the backyard,... Homework goes wherever we go. I
don't believe in excessive homework, but maybe outdoor exploring homework
would an option. Sometimes we just sit in our yard...watch and learn.
You'd be suprised what you can discover."
"I am appalled that a website which promotes the value of education, would
choose to utilize slang (the hood) in the title of an article. Judging
from the letters received on your site and elswhere on the web, it is
obvious that many Americans need a better educational foundation. I hope
that in the future you will think twice before lowering your standards, in
order to appeal to the latest fashion."
"i live in a neighborhood not a hood. dont we see slang and hear slang
enough these days? please dont include bad grammar in your articles."
"I found this article to be a refreshing way to look at how to improve my
child's quality of life.
To often quality of life is confused with affluence when infact affluence
may be degrading our quality of life. Thank you for the thinking. "
"What a great article! These points validate our decision to walk our kids
"I love how they put the blame on the parents driving the kids Could the
fact that kids have 2 hours of home work as early as first grade have
anything to do with the lack of exercise thay get? Maybe if they did not
have so much homework they would have time to walk home! "