The Scouting Report: A weekly digest
Fat fight, football fun, gluttonous weasels, democracy ‘saviors’
Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken set off a social media dogpile on Sept. 19 when he posted a graph on his X – formerly Twitter – account showing rising adult obesity rates from 2011 to 2021, including a big increase from 2020 to 2021. Hmm, what could have caused that?
“Why don’t we talk about this more?” TenHaken asked.
TenHaken competes in Ironman events, and he’s been vocal about the need for physical health and its link to mental health. On Sept. 21 he joined a team of 12 runners who traversed South Dakota on a 437-mile run to bring awareness to rising suicide rates. Avera Health sponsored the run. The run raised $250,000 for the state’s accredited suicide crisis center.
The mayor’s Tweet set off debate about obesity. He was backed by plenty of supporters, but there were others who criticized TenHaken for broaching the issue.
“Respectfully, there are so many other issues you could use your platform to meaningfully address as mayor instead of citizens’ body size,” replied Samantha Chapman, the advocacy manager of the ACLU of South Dakota. “Why don’t we talk about the childcare crisis in Sioux Falls, something squarely in your purview?”
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