If you were to go back through the years and take a look at class photos and team pictures, you’d probably find that young people in the 1950s and 1960s were pretty slim and trim compared to today’s generation.
That’s not to say that youth today are lazy, overweight and underworked slobs. But it should prove to be a stern reality check that’s going to have significant overtones when it comes to how are we going to pay the health-care costs associated with too many video games and not enough time on the ballfield, hockey rink or basketball court?
For some reason, the very same provincial government that is encouraging children to get active is apparently cutting funding to schools that has been used to promote physical activity and healthy living.
The cuts were revealed last week in a letter to the province’s eight school boards, including the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. The province is saying it can’t afford to give $180,000 for equipment-related needs and fitness incentive programs. To reach its budget targets, Health and Wellness officials have informed the boards that the department has been forced to make difficult choices.
The province has been very clear in recent years of the need to bring Nova Scotia’s finances under control. It was the reasoning behind the finance minister’s Back to Balance Tour and the subsequent decision to increase the HST by two per cent. As a province, we must live within our means and stop charging today what our children and grandchildren will have to pay for tomorrow.
Cutting programs that will ultimately lead to a healthier community in the future simply doesn’t make sense. We already live in the unhealthiest generation ever. Larger waistlines, sedentary lifestyles and chronic diseases like diabetes are going to have a huge impact on a health budget that already accounts for a significant chunk of the bottom line.
It would only seem practical to put as many resources as possible into creating a healthier population. Cutting programs that do just that simply don’t make sense and may require a rethink on the part of the bean counters in Halifax.