If one conquers obesity and disease, one conquers bad eating and living habits. This is a “comprehensive tool for communities to assess opportunities for active living and healthy eating and to mobilize all sectors of society to conquer obesity and chronic disease.” (Kim: 1). While I agree that obesity is an epidemic that I see daily, in order for people to eat and live more healthy, a combination of acts need to happen. Propaganda (and I should clarify that I mean propaganda in the neutral, European sense as influencing ideas, objects, actions, etc. rather than anything that one disagrees with, or an “evil”) needs to be instituted that conditions people to read labels in detail, refuse to eat most packaged food, and to eat more local foods and less sugar. In tandem, the correct funding needs to be made available that allow low-income families the affordability and availability to purchase (or better yet, grow their own) local and organic foods. Both are vitally necessary, but in the end, each person has to take the initiative and make the decision to eat and live healthy, all the while fighting intellectually to question the propaganda that bombards them daily and hourly. The collective or the government cannot make this decision for anyone or prohibition and illegal activity result. But creating such a program may result, partially, in a “build it and they will come” phenomenon.
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“What does wellness, security, and happiness mean to you?” Thus, my first Community Psychology class ended with a question and an introduction to the first reading. My first reaction was, this is Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs. On page 198 of the reading, Maslow’s third tier of needs is introduced as community and belongingness. But wellness, security, and happiness condensed this into the hierarchy of needs up to and including self-actualization.
Community is introduced as something with a perceived common characteristic among individuals, while larger communities are geographically larger with more cultural diversity and little in common. In my outside readings in anarchism and temporary autonomous zones (TAZ), this idea of community in wellness, security, and happiness is particularly intriguing as it promotes the common interests of small groups. Community beyond the spatial unit of geography through electronic communications expands the idea of a “small group” into a much larger unit with close ties of a small group, but one that may be the size of a mid-sized geographic area or larger. This is particularly interesting from the aspect of values, obligations, and expectations and the influence of groupthink.
The authors also discuss the sustainability of a community and reference the 2005 UK government’s largest sustainability conference where it was defined as “a place where people want to live and work now and in the future” (p. 199). I would also include TAZ, planned communities, such as the anarchist collectives based on mutual benefit, support, and interests. Unfortunately, as the UK government states that it is interested in community sustainability, it demolished one of the largest Romani/Traveler camps a few years ago without even considering the needs of the residents.