Regardless of your views on the smoking ban, we learned last November that non-smokers in Ohio don't want secondhand smoke in their lungs. Although the ultimate outcome of the ban is still uncertain, for the most part, they're getting their wish.
Smoking is bad for your health. What has been discovered in recent years is that America's waistband is constantly expanding, and that's not healthy, either.
Health care is a problem recognized nationwide in the same breath as terrorism, gas prices and global warming. But the causes of health problems, such as smoking and obesity, are too often ignored.
According to an Associated Press story printed Jan. 21 in this paper, 50.2 percent of America now has some kind of smoking ban. Seven states approved smoke-free laws last year, and an official with Americans for Non-smokers Rights said he thinks all Americans "will live in smoke-free jurisdictions within a few years."
In the fight against obesity, New York City became the nation's first city to ban trans fats, effective July 2008, in December. Philadelphia and Cleveland are considering similar measures. Even Oreos, while still unhealthy, are now trans fat-free.
Where the obesity problem is most alarming is in our nation's youth. Thankfully, schools -- and students -- across the country are making better decisions with their lunches. French fries are out. Carrots and celery are in, along with whole wheat bread, according to an AP story printed here Jan. 22. In that story, a leading food service expert said students' "dining preferences have changed, and they're now accepting of making healthier dining options."
In Tuesday's Register was the premier issue of FIT --Firelands in Training. FIT is a quarterly special chock full of health tips, including help with losing weight and quitting smoking.
Not coincidentally, the first issue was printed 23 days into the New Year, when resolutions are still fresh.
To those who made a New Year's Resolution to improve your health -- terrific. We hope you stick with it. To those who didn't --it's not too late to change your lifestyle. And a lifestyle change is an ideal way to view it. Resolutions are too often temporary. We hope, with the needed help and attention, our country's health problems eventually will be temporary as well.