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Fox News Smears Jungle Gyms

Reported by Ellen - July 12, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Brian

On yesterday’s (7/11/09) Bulls & Bears, the first topic was jungle gyms, farmers markets, street lights and walking paths being inserted into the health care plan in order to stimulate heathier living. But host Brenda Buttner, in another belying of Fox’s “we report, you decide” mantra, immediately set the tone by describing those items as "pork," and adding about "our lawmakers," “Someone here says THEY'RE full of it.” With video.

Guest Tobin Smith said, "The problem with this whole idea of prevention and investing - by the way it's always an investment, it's not an expense – is that… if there's not a financial incentive and disincentive to use this... the healthiest people are the ones who are going to use these preventive things and it doesn't help them at all ‘cause they’re already healthy. It's absolutely the wrong way."

Sarah Flowers said, "Here's the financial impact. Kids who exercise for an hour a day…"

Tobin Smith cut her off, shouting, "We're not talking about kids. Kids don't consume health care."

Sarah "$137 million is wasted every year because of obesity-related illnesses."

Tobin Smith said, "It's $137 billion easily."

Flowers continued, “With asthma attacks that could be prevented if they lived healthier lifestyles. It's a small part of a big bill."

Pat Dorsey said, "We are the fattest nation in the world and that's a fact. Thirty three percent of Americans are clinically obese and obese people do consume more health care in terms of diabetes, in terms of heart related costs… If (kids) become obese and grow up, then they do consume a lot of health care… An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Gary B. Smith said, "The people sitting in Congress, they don't really care about the health of the American population… It's the parents responsibility to make sure the kids are healthy. It's not… the government’s responsibility to coerce and push people into healthy lifestyles."

Dorsey asked, "How is building a jungle gym coercing someone?"

Gary B. Smith replied, "You're using resources from the people diverting it into what the government thinks is good."

Dorsey said, "That's not coercion, Gary."

Flowers said, "It's giving people tools to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s creating communities that promote health which, in turn, create healthier people who consume less health care. It’s a long-term strategy and it’s one small part of… a very big bill."

Eric Bolling said, "It's like treating alocholism with a juice bar down the corner. It’s not going to work."

Flowers said, "The point of the jungle gym is to train a new generation of healthy people."

Comment: If a jungle gym can help curtial obesity, what's wrong with it? This "pork" is an investment into helping people stay in shape, and more is needed.