For the inaugural issue of Weld, we asked dozens of people from throughout the community — young and not-so-young; male and female; black, white, Hispanic and Asian; Christian, Muslim, Jewish and agnostic; students, professionals, artists and more — to each give us one idea for making Birmingham better. This is one of those ideas. You can read more here.
Dr. Michael Fleenor • Jefferson County Health Officer
What will make Birmingham better is encapsulated in the old saw, “If you have your health, you have everything.” And really, if you begin early, it is the simple things that make this possible. Breathing clean air, drinking fluoridated water, eating nutritious foods in moderation and exercising are the keys to basic good health.
While we have good quality drinking source and are making consistent progress toward cleaner air, we are ranked among the very worst in the nation for smoke-free indoor air, eating right and getting enough exercise.
To improve in all of these arenas will require both individual and community efforts. We have more than 100 community partners now working toward the goals of cleaner outdoor air, tobacco smoke-free indoor air, improvement in availability and promotion of healthier food consumption and exercise.
But it will take more concerted individual and community efforts to insist that local and state elected officials, government agencies and philanthropic organizations consider these basic ingredients of healthy living in their planning, otherwise much of their other good work will be undermined. The recent progress in addressing most of these health indicators makes me optimistic that we’ll make great strides in achieving these goals within the next 10 years.
Read more Big Ideas to Make Birmingham Better here.