Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Toronto Public Health DOES Get It

This is a poster I saw at a bus shelter a few days ago in downtown Toronto:

It's self-explanatory, but let's go over what it says--and perhaps even more importantly, given the hysterical, anti-obesity environment we're living in--what it doesn't say.

What we see is a public health poster on certain things we can do to prevent type 2 diabetes. It is made up of some text and three pictures. The picture on the left shows a family going for a walk. They're pretty ordinary people, not particularly slim nor fat. Just ordinary folk, not two ripped young people running through the woods, making sure their arm muscles appear to their best advantage.

The picture on the upper right shows a man of about 60. He's a little on the heavy side, again, not some super, lean and mean senior showing off his incredible physique despite his age. The gentleman is holding some fruit. He's standing in front of the fresh produce section of a grocery store.

The picture on the lower right shows a young man drinking from what is clearly a (non-plastic) water bottle. Just an ordinary guy.

The messages are simple, clear and POSITIVE: "be active - eat well - be tobacco-free". The question, "what's your small step?" simply encourages people to do their best.

This kind of inclusive public service message tells us that we can all do something to improve our health, rather than telling us that we are BAD and FAT and destined to be SICK.

Compare this poster with the fortunately short-lived Georgia campaign to stop childhood obesity:

That's a mighty positive message, isn't it (sarcasm alert)?

Contrary to the state of Georgia, I think Toronto Public Health has got it right.

Monday, March 4, 2013

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming bring you pictures of our two new furry family members.

This is Bro:

And this is Ella:

This is their third day with us. We adopted the siblings from Toronto Cat Rescue on Saturday. They were being boarded at a pet store and cared for by loving staff, but with almost no space to roam and play.

Bro and Ella are four years old and were given up for adoption when the family they lived with split up.

Our family was looking for two adult cats with sweet personalities. Our previous cat, Jelly Bean, was a supremely neurotic female orange tabby. Apparently, they can have really difficult personalities and Miss J.B. was up there with the best of them: a combination of Greta Garbo ("I vant to be left alone") and Miss Destruction (carpets, furniture, pee and poo everywhere but in the box). J.B. did not brighten our lives, but we stood by her until her sudden and untimely death from a blood clot.

This time around we were looking for some real cat love. I think we've found it.

Yes, that's the sound of the whole family purring...