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Friday, July 31, 2009

Members of Congress Aren't the Picture of Good Health

Members of Congress may not be the best advocates for good health, according to a Politico article by Katherine Tallmadge, a nutrition and diet consultant who has worked with members and their staff. While they ponder trillion-dollar solutions to the nation's health care woes, their own hectic schedules make healthy living virtually impossible.

Long hours make regular exercise difficult (though not impossible--Senator Max Baucus is a marathoner). Members are surrounded by junk food, "from the candies, cookies, and snacks given by lobbyists on everyone's desk, to the vending machines in office hallways, to the well-stocked candy desk that has been on the Senate floor for 40 years."

For Tallmadge, this means that Congress may not know how to create a "health promotion system" that encourages general wellness and prevention. After all, many of the members aren't well themselves.

So what do you think? Is focusing on Congress's waistline as silly as the obsession with the soon-to-be Surgeon General's, or does Ms. Tallmadge have a point?

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