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Health Group Proposes Tax on Junk Food

Posted: Jul 03, 2012

A new group, dedicated to improving the health of Navajos, wants to get the Navajo Nation government to impose a new tax on junk food.

Last week, members of Community Advocacy met for three days at the Howard Johnson Hotel for training and to talk about the reasons why so many Navajos are harming their lives by eating food that is not good for a healthy life.

"People are eating a lot of unhealthy food, a lot of empty calories," said Frank Lester, one of 60 community advocates working to educate people in the chapters on how to improve the quality of their life by simply changing their diet.

Community Advocacy was started in March as a way for organizations like the Indian Health Service and the Navajo Nation's Division of Health to get up close and personal with tribal members who don't understand the harm they are doing to themselves and their children by eating junk food.

"When you enter a convenience store, all you see at first is row after row of foods filled with sugar and empty calories," said Lester.

Lester, like the other community advocates, is a volunteer, providing his time for a cause he says is one of the most important on the reservation. It will determine if someone lives a long and healthy life or one that results in obesity and health problems like diabetes, he said.

The group has declared war on everything from potato chips and hot dogs to candy and soda pop. Pizza is also on their hit list of foods that need to be eaten in moderation. Read more here.

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