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ROSE NOLEN: Believing what you hear is often baffling

Monday, November 21, 2011 | 2:53 p.m. CST; updated 7:50 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

COLUMBIA — It’s hard to know where Americans stand anymore.

You almost have to go from group to group to find out what people believe and where their knowledge comes from. No single source is guaranteed to provide pure, unadulterated information.

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Who knows why a set of heart-attack survivors wouldn't take well-established drugs to prevent a recurrence of heart trouble when the drugs were free.

In a major study, doctors offered free medicine and were surprised to find that only about half of patients took them.

Would they have preferred to pay for them?

In fact, those who did take the medicine suffered fewer heart-related problems and on average saved $500 on health care over roughly a year.

Something is going to have to be done, but I’m not sure what. Why are people afraid or unwilling to take medicines that are prescribed for them? 

If you don’t want to participate in a medical study, you should say so. Wasting expensive drugs that people need to maintain their health is stupid and inhumane. We seriously need to know why people are refusing to take these medicines.

Yet, people are passing out information all the time, and we do need to make sure what we’re hearing is accurate.

At present, a number of people campaigning for political office are passing on ideas and suggestions they believe will help solve problems that are confronting us.

If you find some good ideas, fine. Keep listening and maybe by the time you are ready to go to the polls, you will have found the person you want to vote for.

But before you believe in what you’re hearing, find out the truth. Go through the news and find out what other people are saying on the subject. Don’t be sold until you’ve heard the final word.

And, if there is nothing else to worry about, there’s always pizza. While the Obama administration fights to keep unhealthy foods out of the kid’s lunch program, Congress caves in.

Changes to the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year, including new restrictions on sodium, a boost to the use of whole grains and a limit to the amount of potatoes in the lunch line, have all been thrown out.

This time, frozen pizza, potato growers and salt suppliers won. Kids lost.

Somewhere down the line, I hope parents will be able to control the choices of foods their children eat. A long time ago, when it was up to the school cooks to prepare lunch for the kids and the kids had to eat what was prepared, things were relatively simple.

Today, it's more about overeating.  It’s really about avoiding childhood illnesses. It’s an attempt to get a handle on child health before kids have a chance to mature.

Parents really need to get more involved in this fight. Kids need to be protected.

I’m sure it won’t take long for somebody to decide to put restaurants in the schools, and the school lunch will be history.

Hopefully, I will still be able to remember what an apple looks like.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at nolen@iland.net.


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