EDITORIAL: Eat, drink — and be healthy

There are many ways government can spend our tax dollars badly — and many ways to spend them well.
Would the B.C. government spend our money wisely if it launched a campaign about our health, to teach us something we should already know?

There are many ways government can spend our tax dollars badly — and many ways to spend them well.Would the B.C. government spend our money wisely if it launched a campaign about our health, to teach us something we should already know?Don’t answer too quickly, because the answer could be yes.The first winner of the Healthy Families BC contest, Sandy Gravelle of Nanaimo, correctly answered a question posed by the Ministry of Health.“How much sodium, represented in cups of salt, does the average British Columbian consume each year?The correct answer is 11, the ministry revealed in a recent news release. To stay healthy, it added, we need less than the equivalent of five cups of salt a year.We consume, on average, twice as much sodium as our bodies need, which can lead to high blood pressure, kidney disease and stroke.Most of us have at least a vague idea that ingesting too much salt is bad for us. Many of us also realize that too much sugar carries its own risks, including increasing the odds of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are the largest causes of death and disability in B.C., the ministry added.Achieving and maintaining a healthy diet takes some willpower, diligence and knowledge.Prepared food for sale often has dramatically high salt and sugar content, because it makes the food taste better — and keeps you coming back for more.Avoiding oversalted or sugar-filled food is not as easy as you might think because it seems like everybody who sells food does it. Reading labels can be depressing because so much food is high in sodium and/or sugar.Still, forearmed is forewarned and your health is at stake.Even if you don’t win one of the prizes, you might register with Healthy Families BC at http://healthyfamiliesbc.ca/communities/register.The government is actually helping you this time.editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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