During his State of the City speech in January, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino noted that half of Bostonians are overweight, and said: “Look, weight is an issue that many of us struggle with. But what is daunting on our own becomes doable when we work together. So my goal is to see all of us combine to shed a million pounds this year.” After the speech, WBUR’s Delores Handy reported, Menino pledged personally to lose at least two pounds a month for the next year.
Well, now it’s official, at least the million-pound part. From the press release:
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, launched Boston Moves for Health, an ambitious campaign to improve the health and fitness of the city of Boston. Making the announcement from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mayor Menino challenged Bostonians to collectively lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles as part of the initiative.
Joined by the campaign’s lead sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Partners HealthCare, the Mayor unveiled www.BostonMovesForHealth.org. This free online resource allows participants to set health goals, record their individual progress, find community resources to help keep them on track, connect with friends and neighbors to share tips and workout routines, and view the city’s progress toward meeting the challenge goals.
Mayor Menino in a September interview at WBUR
The big news from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s 19th State of the City speech last night was about overhauling the city’s school assignment system, but let’s not neglect the health elements in his address. WBUR’s Delores Handy covered the speech and reports on a “Biggest Loser” moment afterward.
WBUR's Delores Handy
In his speech, Mayor Menino noted that half of Bostonians are overweight, and said: “Look, weight is an issue that many of us struggle with. But what is daunting on our own becomes doable when we work together. So my goal is to see all of us combine to shed a million pounds this year.”
Delores reports that after the speech, Menino pledged personally to lose at least two pounds a month for the next year.
City councillor Tito Jackson one-upped the mayor and pledged to lose three pounds a month.
Councillor Felix Arroyo raised the ante just a bit, saying he’d go to 3.2 pounds a month, and that he could use help with his weight loss efforts.
Gentlemen, start your engines….
See Delores Handy’s excellent full report on the State of the City speech here.
Update: Mayor Menino will have to spend the night at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on intravenous antibiotics while doctors monitor his skin infection, said Dr. Brandon Earp at a news conference this afternoon. Here she is on NECN.
This from Boston Mayor Menino’s office:
This morning Mayor Thomas M. Menino was admitted to the orthopedic center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to treat a septic bursitis and cellulitis of the left elbow, a skin infection that developed from a scrape the mayor sustained this weekend while in Italy. Mayor Menino is currently receiving a routine treatment of antibiotics to treat the infection. Doctors will continue to monitor the infection and Mayor Menino will be released as doctors see progress in clearing the infection. This orthopedic condition is not unusual and Mayor Menino remains in good health, expected to make a quick and complete recovery.
We truly wish Mayor Menino a quick and easy recovery, and he has been treated in the past at the Brigham. But we also cannot help noting that by choosing to be treated at the Brigham, he’s doing what many of us do: going to a “brand-name,” more expensive hospital for fairly routine care. (Not to single out the mayor. Sen. John Kerry had hip surgery at Mass. General, as did Gov. Deval Patrick.)
Granted, no one wants to switch providers in the midst of an acute medical problem. But still, it left us wondering: Readers, do you know of any politicians who talk about cutting health care costs and actually shop for lower-cost care? Will voters ever demand it, the way they expect education-oriented politicians to send their children to public schools?