We welcome the launch of a new website to promote healthy living in Baton Rouge, http://www.healthyBR.com. The site has a lot of good tips about the benefits of biking, walking and proper nutrition, along with helpful links to community resources. Much of the information on the site can benefit browsers from any community in south Louisiana.
The website is part of The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative created by Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden four years ago.
In a city where many residents lack Internet access, a website promoting health will have limited reach, especially among poor residents who tend to suffer disproportionately from obesity, nicotine addiction and other health problems.
Holden seems aware that this underserved population must have access to healthy lifestyle information and options, too. In announcing the new website, Holden also promoted efforts by the nonprofit Big River Economic and Agriculture Development Alliance to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to several neighborhoods, including areas of north Baton Rouge where access to fresh produce is limited. BREADA plans to operate a food truck serving parts of north Baton Rouge and several other areas, too.
A big reason that poor, troubled neighborhoods typically have few quality grocery stores is because high crime rates discourage merchants from establishing businesses. High crime rates also discourage residents of these neighborhoods from walking or biking for exercise. Promoting law and order can help the residents of these communities to become physically healthier, too.
Even in more-affluent neighborhoods of Baton Rouge, of course, too few of us take the time to take a stroll or get on a bike. We’re glad that Holden has supported the construction of walking and biking paths to encourage more people to exercise.
Holden’s media event to launch the new website included distribution of fresh fruit to participants. That was a nice gesture in dietary moderation, although we know that in south Louisiana, the rich cuisine is a constant temptation to indulge in high-calorie fare.
This part of the world isn’t the easiest place to diet, we know, but here’s hoping that more of us can embrace the challenge.